On Sep 20, 2010, at 11:51 AM, Martin Rex wrote:
Keith Moore wrote:
I would strongly object to a change to our process that removed
the requirement to demonstrate interoperability.
If we need additional incentives to advancement, perhaps we should
require that proposed standards revert to informational or historic
if no action is taken within three years.
(action being: recycle at proposed, advance to draft)
As I understand it, the original draft requirement (demonstrating interop)
was to improve the specification in several aspects:
- ensure that there are implementations of the specification,
because implementing a spec is a good method to uncover inconsistencies,
ambiguities and contradictions
- ensure that there are multiple independent implementations in order
to find out whether independent implementers understand the spec
in the same fashion.
- find out which of the (interoperable) features of a spec are necessary
and which one are more in the direction of bloat
Recycling a spec on proposed will primarily add new features, and include
errata and potential clarifications, but rarely drop features.
I certainly recall instances where features were dropped from the Draft
Standard version of a specification precisely because interoperability had not
Therefore I'm no sure that "recycling" at proposed should be considered
a valid substitute for a demonstration of interoperability between
independent implementations. At least, there should be a limit as to
how often recycling a spec at proposed should "exempt" a working group
from demonstrating interoperability.
Hmm. I wouldn't consider recycling at proposed to be a substitute for
demonstration of interoperability, but rather, a demonstration that there
continues to be interest in working on the protocol. Presumably that means
that the protocol is useful and that there is a real need to continue investing
in the specification. (Of course it might have been better if the WG had done
a better job with the original design, but it's hard to make a general
statement about that. Sometimes protocols get used very differently than was
anticipated by the WG.)
At any rate, when a document gets recycled at proposed several times, I don't
think it's due to avoidance of interoperability testing needed for Draft
Standard. I suspect it's more likely to be because interoperability testing
and/or experience has indicated that further work is needed.
Ietf mailing list