As the original blog poster, let me answer and expand a bit:
Jeroen Massar wrote:
What is defined as an 'end-user'?
You, me, the rest of the people, are all end-users IMHO.
From those one billion Internet users, there are several millions IT
professionals who do not participate in the IETF work either because
they are not inclined to, or because their employer does not see which
return such time investment would bring to the company. They provide
services to millions of end users and they are confronted on a daily
basis with issues that could be addressed by enhancing or drafting new
standards. These people have the knowledge. They are not "hobbyists".
Over the last ten years, I explained a zillion times to my management,
workmates, etc. why e-mail addresses cannot contain accented characters,
only to be asked when the IT department of the organization is going to
"fix it". This is the archetypical example of an issue that has been
known since the days of RFC821/822. Yet, work to address this has only
started a year ago, although I am conscious there were some intermediate
step needed, like Unicode.
Please don't ask me to complain to my software vendor. At best, I am
being told that their software is standards-compliant. So, if the end
user/customer cannot get the supplier to proactively propose new
standards, there has to be a way to escalate the issue to whatever body
that can solve it.
My proposal for the IETF would be to ask the actual users, large and
small, through different mechanisms to be defined, what are the issues
that limit their use of the Internet, see what is relevant to the IETF
work and assign priorities to the development of new standards.
As for the average end user: I am sure that my grandfather would have
liked to be able to type an e-mail, including recipient names, with
accented characters. He was already able to do so for letters and
envelopes on his typing machine in the 1920's. My neighbour may not
know what an IPv6 /64 is. He may however understand that he will have a
lot of home devices connected to the Internet on his home network in a
few years from now, and this may require some segmentation, which a /64
does not provide. Actually, I hope my neighbour will never have to know
about these details, and that his home router will figure this out
Patrick Vande Walle
Patrick Vande Walle
Check my blog at http://patrick.vande-walle.eu
Jabber me at patrick(_at_)vande-walle(_dot_)eu
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