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2005-11-23 07:40:20
In the real world there is no shortage of open document standards.

The point I am making is that if you want to hope to persuade
corporations to make billion dollar plus investments in deployment of
IPv6 you had better make sure that your marketting collateral says
'professional' and 'serious' not 'amateur' and 'dilettante'.

-----Original Message-----
From: Eliot Lear [mailto:lear(_at_)cisco(_dot_)com] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 9:15 AM
To: Hallam-Baker, Phillip
Cc: Dave Aronson (re IETF); ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org
Subject: Re: ASCII art

In the cart before the horse department Phillip wrote:

But there is a teensy inconsistency in an argument that 
goes 'we must 
have plaintext for accessibility' then ignores the language and 
character set issues as unimportant.

The real reason to change the RFC format is that the IETF needs to 
make a visible sign that it is capable of institutional 
change. A lot 
has happened in the past three years, there has been a significant 
turnover in IETF management. The old boys club (and it was mostly 
boys) has been largely broken up. The IAB and IESG are now 
subject to 
de-facto term limits.

Institutions that do not constantly renew and re-invent themselves 
become obsolete. The IETF is a technology organization, if its 
communications tell the world that it is wedged in the 
1960s it will 
be very difficult for it to be relevant in the modern 
Internet which 
has over a billion users.

The IETF is the *Internet* Engineering Task Force not some 
document formatting engineering task force.  We don't have to 
lead with our chins here.  If some open standard is accepted 
for document processing, I'm happy to use it once it is clear 
that it will stand the test of time.  I certainly wouldn't 
bet the bank on the current OpenDoc standard.

In the meantime I will settle for seeing the IETF reinvent 
itself by continuing to produce relevant work in the areas we 
claim expertise.
That generally involves lots of ones and zeros on wires, 
which can easily be represented and described in English with 
ASCII.  And if someone wants to translate that ASCII into any 
other language, I say "Have at it!"  Or... if someone wants 
to develop source in any other language and then translate 
into English, fine with me as long as we understand that the 
English is normative in the end.


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