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comment on the standards process

1991-11-21 08:24:54
I found this while rereading the O`Malley/Peterson "TCP Externsions
Considered Harmful" paper.  I consider it apropos to the 822 and smtp
working groups, as well as darkly humourous and very true.

     Finally, there is a subtle problem introduced by the very freedom
     provided by this approach. Specifically, being able to introduce a
     new protocol often results in protocols that go far beyond the
     basic needs of the situation.  New protocols resemble Senate
     appropriations bills; they tend to accumulate many amendments that
     have nothing to do with the original problem. A good example of
     this phenomena is the attempt to standardize VMTP [1] as the Inter-
     net RPC protocol. While VMTP was a large protocol to begin with,
     the closer it got to standardization the more features were added
     until it essentially collapsed under its own weight. As we argue
     below, new protocols should initially be minimal, and then evolve
     as the situation dictates.
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