On Apr 22, 2012, at 13:08, Romascanu, Dan (Dan) wrote:
Part of the problems with Experimental RFCs which were prompted up also
in this discussion derive from the fact that many of the RFCs labeled as
Experimental do not describe in clear terms the goals of the experiment
that is being proposed.
I never knew that was an objective for an experimental RFC.
(But I have only been contributing to the IETF for 19 years.)
The way that I understood *experimental* RFCs all this time was that they
provide interoperability specifications that are *experimental*, i.e., we need
further *experience* to validate them (e.g., we don't fully understand yet
whether they work as well as we think).
The design of formal *experiments* around these specifications never was a
subject, and I would be surprised to do these anywhere in the IETF (maybe in
the IRTF, but even that is a long shot for most of these). More importantly,
the *experience* needed for validation may not come out of *experiments* at all.
Please read these two sentences from RFC 2026 again and tell me what I have
missed these 19 years.
The "Experimental" designation typically denotes a specification that
is part of some research or development effort. Such a specification
is published for the general information of the Internet technical
community and as an archival record of the work, subject only to
editorial considerations and to verification that there has been
adequate coordination with the standards process (see below).
I wouldn't mind if an experimental RFC were more vocal about what kind of
experience is missing, motivating *why* it is still experimental. As was
already said in this thread, "experimental" status is often threatened as a
cop-out out of a standardization process that some party does not want to
complete. Curbing *that* would be worth some effort.
PS.: Since I'm not a native speaker, I just looked up again what experimental
means. Yes, experiments may be involved (in submeaning 2), but that's not the
main semantics of this word. Deriving the *need* for an "experiment" from this
word strikes me as confused.
(of a new invention or product) based on untested ideas or techniques and not
yet established or finalized: an experimental drug.
• (of a work of art or an artistic technique) involving a radically new and
innovative style: experimental music.
• of or relating to scientific experiments: experimental results.
• archaic based on experience as opposed to authority or conjecture: an
experimental knowledge of God.