I don't see the value of running code quite as others do.
For me the value of running code is that the requirement to actually implement
stuff does tend to reduce the scope for complexity, you have someone in the
room pushing against something that will make work for them. And the other
advantage is that there tends to be a closer relationship to actual real world
But you do not have to do A to get B and doing A does not guarantee that you
Another alternative is to require people to produce a proof of correctness for
their protocol. That provides even greater encouragement to be concise and to
get it right the first time.
The running code strategy can also backfire. I have seen groups where one party
has a large development team on call that allows them to drive the
specification. And I have also seen groups where no progress can be made
because the programmer who wrote the dufus code won't allow the dufus to be
deleted from the spec. Coding too early can also be a problem.
From: ietf-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org on behalf of Brian E Carpenter
Sent: Tue 3/3/2009 4:54 PM
To: Marc Petit-Huguenin
Subject: Re: Running Code
Marc, and Henry,
I think adding any new mandatory section to all I-Ds is a bad idea.
It will quickly become bureaucratic. We've had proposals for mandatory
Management Considerations, IPv6 Considerations, and no doubt others
that I've forgotten, and they all have the same problem.
However, I think it's a very good idea to offer *guidelines* for what
should be in technical specifications in this area. In fact, my old
commentary on RFC2026 talked about related issues concerning
interoperability criteria for promotion to Draft Standard.
See the comments on "4.1.2 Draft Standard" in
Obviously, the first stage in interoperability is interoperability
with yourself ;-).
(As far as I am concerned, you are welcome to use any of that
material under RFC5378 conditions.)
I encourage your draft to become purely a set of guidelines.
That would be useful and non-bureaucratic.
On 2009-03-04 10:17, Marc Petit-Huguenin wrote:
I would like to bring to your attention this proposal to put back
running code at the center of Internet protocol design by adding a
new Considerations Section in future Internet-Drafts and RFCs:
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