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IAB Minutes 1991-11-19

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Internet Activities Board

Meeting Minutes — November 19, 1991

FOREWORD


This document contains minutes of the meeting of the Internet Activities Board (IAB) held in Sante Fe, NM on November 19, 1991, during an IETF meeting. The meeting agenda will be found in Appendix A. The attendees were:

    IAB Members:
      Bob Braden, ISI
      Hans-Werner Braun, SDSC
      Vint Cerf, CNRI
      Lyman Chapin, BBN
      Phill Gross, ANS
      Christian Huitema, INRIA
      Steve Kent, BBN
      Tony Lauck, DEC
      Barry Leiner, ADS
      Jon Postel, ISI

    Guests:

      Bob Aiken, NSF
      Peter Ford, LANL
      Paul Mockapetris, DARPA

    Scribe:

      Mark Abbott, UArizona

1. INTERNET SOCIETY STATUS

    Cerf reported that the formation of the Internet Society (ISOC) is proceeding very well. Suggestions for initial Board of Trustees membership have been received from many sources, and over 50% are from outside the US. Mechanically, the initial Charter Members of the Board will formally nominate the rest of the initial Board and will adopt the initial Charter. The full board will convene by email in January to ratify the final charter. By-laws will be reviewed and ratified in that same period. There are roughly 700 Pioneer members of the Society thus far, and it is estimated that there will be 10 organizational members by the end of the year. The first official society conference will be the INET ’92 meeting in Kobe, Japan during June 15-19, 1992. The first ISOC newsletter will be prepared in December 1991 and published in January 1992.

      NEW ACTION: Chapin: Draft IAB statement for first ISOC newsletter.

    There was a discussion of the costs and benefits for an organizational member of ISOC. A member organization can: (1) send delegates to an advisory body; (2) obtain some number of free copies of publications; and (3) have discounted access to other ISOC services.

      NEW ACTION: Cerf: Send to the IAB members the current descriptive information and the proposed bylaws of ISOC.

    Cerf emphasized the importance of the ISOC functioning as an international organization. It is hoped that RARE will join as a charter member. Cerf noted that there will be more non-U.S. than U.S. trustees on the initial board. Leiner further urged that IETF hold a meeting outside North America, in order to gain credibility as an international organization. Huitema suggested that the meeting be located in an EC country and close to one of the five major European airports. Later in the day, Gross reported that IETF meeting sites have been committed through Spring of 1993. Hence, the first IETF meeting that could be located outside North America would be in Fall 1993.

2. STANDARDS PROCEDURAL ISSUES

    2.1 Protocol Standards Procedures Document

      Leiner pointed out that the Router Requirements document uses a nomenclature different from the official nomenclature (e.g. “must” and “should” instead of “required” and “recommended”). The consensus was to leave unchanged the language in both documents.

      Kent brought up a concern that some might erroneously infer that simply following the documented procedures will guarantee eventual acceptance of a specification as a standard, regardless of its technical merits. Such automatic acceptance could lead to the creation of unsound standards. It was noted that, based upon experience in the ISO world, a standards effort can be bad in the beginning, or it can go bad during the process. The group discussed adding to the Procedures RFC an explicit statement to the effect that a technically unsound specification might ultimately be rejected. After considerable discussion, it was agreed to leave the relevant language in the original form.

      It was suggested that the maturity-level name “Experimental”, which has pejorative connotations when applied to a commercial product, be replaced by “Pre-standard”. This was not adopted.

      It was noted that the document is quite deliberately unspecific in many places; it is not an algorithm. The IAB members agreed that this is entirely proper amd desirable, to strike a balance between flexibility to “do the right thing”, while preserving enough fixed process to ensure openness and fairness in all cases.

      There was a discussion of Section 5, Patents and Copyrights. It was agreed to eliminate any reference to copyrights in this section, since the two are not legally parallel.

      Huitema noted that the current discussion may be U.S.-centric, as the patent process and law varies from one country to another, and the specified procedures could lead to a standard with a limited geographical scope. He also noted the difference between publishing a Technical Specification (TS) and publishing an Applicability Statement (AS): publishing a TS should always be possible, even if it documents a patented protocol or procedure.

        NEW ACTION: Chapin: Draft subsection on intellectual property.

      The document was accepted. The ExecD (Executive Director) was instructed to make the noted changes, publish it as an Internet- Draft for a period, and then submit it to the RFC Editor for publication as an RFC.

        NEW ACTION: ExecD: Update and publish Official Standards Procedures RFC.

    2.2 RFC on STDs

      Postel described his draft “Introduction to the STD Notes.” An STD number is to be assigned to each RFC or set of RFCs defining a single distinguishable Internet Standard. When there are multiple versions of a particular standard, its STD number must be qualified by the number of the RFC describing the version.

      It was decided to issue this document simultaneously with the Standards Procedure document.

        NEW ACTION: RFC Editor: Publish STD RFC.

    2.3 Copyrights on RFCs

      Cerf has filed for trademark protection of the name “Internet Society”. The IAB asked the RFC Editor to include “Internet Society” in RFC headers, to protect against bogus RFCs. He may delete the historic but obsolete heading “Network Working Group” from RFCs.

      Cerf outlined the possible approaches to copyrights on RFCs.

      1. require that all RFC authors sign a release form; or

      2. include a statement allowing full reproduction; or

      3. specify limited rights to reproduce, with original authors holding copyright.

        NEW ACTION: Cerf: Get an attorney’s advice on statement regarding reproduction to be included on RFCs.

      Lauck brought up the issue of copyrights on Internet-Drafts, espe- cially of MIBs. For example, may a vendor copy code fragments from Internet-Drafts into their own documentation? Cerf suggested that Internet Drafts should be treated as public domain; since they are intended to become standard, they should be fully repro- ducible.

        NEW ACTION: Cerf: Get an attorney’s advice on copyright issues for Internet-Drafts.

    2.4 Use of RFCs for Advertising

      The IAB discussed a prohibition against the use of RFCs as overt or covert advertisements for vendor products. Kent noted the pos- sible conflict between such a policy and our general policy of publishing all competent Informational RFCs. Cerf suggested offering an alternative channel specifically for vendor informa- tion and open to all who wish to use it.

      It was agreed that Postel, the RFC Editor, will include a policy statement against vendor advertising in RFCs into the “Instruc- tions to RFC Authors” document.

        NEW ACTION: Postel: Document policy against vendor advertising in “Instructions to RFC Authors” document.

      Lauck raised a different issue, the citation of RFCs in vendor advertising. It was agreed that citations of standards RFCs should be encouraged.

3. ROUTING TASK GROUP

    Peter Ford entered the meeting to discuss the Routing and Addressing Task Group which the IAB had formed to create an initial proposal for input to the normal IETF process. He reported that the group origi- nally invited by the IAB has not been able to convene due to severe time conflicts, and that Dave Clark was unable to participate at all. However, a new group formed within the IETF during a meeting of the BGP working group: the “ROAD” group. The ROAD group represents a broader viewpoint than the original IAB group, as it includes members with a strong interest in solving the problem in the short term. The IAB welcomed the possibility that the ROAD group would result in practicable ideas.

    It was agreed that the IAB should encourage the ROAD group to take on the problem of developing at least one straw-person proposal, fully developed, by March 1992. Ford and Gross will co-chair this group. Furthermore, the IAB will invite the members of the original group to join this effort, or else to provide comments on the output.

    Huitma noted that all members of these groups are from the U.S. The IAB agreed that European members should be added. Gross suggested that some Europeans can be included via telephone.

4. IAB CHARTER UNDER INTERNET SOCIETY

    A proposed Charter of the IAB under the ISOC was discussed in detail. The basic framework, in which IAB members will be appointed by the ISOC Board of Trustees for 3-year terms, was accepted, but the group debated some important details.

    Leiner pointed out that the last paragraph of section 1 implied that the ISOC president (as opposed to the ISOC board of trustees) could assign new tasks to the IAB without limit. It was agreed to correct the language.

    There was considerable discussion about whether or not the chair of the IAB should serve ex officio as a non-voting member of the Board of Trustees. On the one hand, the group felt that the special impor- tance of the IAB and its task forces (IETF and IRTF) would justify a seat on the Board. However, Cerf was concerned about the precedent, which could result in membership inflation of the Board of Trustees. It was finally agreed that the IAB chair should not be an ex-officio member of the Board.

    In response to Leiner’s suggestion, it was agreed that the language in sections 8 and 9 would be changed to make it clear that the per- sons appointed as RFC editor, IETF chair, and IRTF chair must be members of the IAB prior to appointment.

    Section 10 establishes the ISOC newsletter as the Publication of Record of the IAB and its task forces. For example, this will be the official (legal) notification of standards actions. There was con- cern that the newsletter will be published only four times a year, resulting in long delays. However, it was agreed to leave section 10 as it is, but include in the newsletter a statement that more timely (but less official) information is available in the Internet Monthly Report (IMR). IMRs will remain an IAB publication.

      NEW ACTION: Chapin: Revise the draft IAB charter and propose it to the ISOC Board of Trustees.

5. MILNET AND DNS

    Many Milnet hosts still do not use the Domain Name System (DNS), which causes continuing operational difficulties, especially in email delivery. Braun had drafted a statement urging universal adoption of the DNS. It was noted that there are also some non-Milnet hosts that do not use the DNS.

    This led to a discussion of whether or not, and if so when, we can expect X.500 to replace the DNS. Kent noted that the DNS has secu- rity problems, and he believes that this will ultimately cause X.500 to supplant the DNS even for IP hosts. Not all agreed. In any case, it was felt that some statement ought to be made to the Internet com- munity about the DNS in the near-term.

      NEW ACTION: Cerf: Produce a (non-RFC) document suggesting an appropriate policy statement in favor of the DNS, with a cover letter directed to the Milnet operators.

      NEW ACTION: Braun: Draft appropriate statement about the use of X.500 in the future.

6. DEC DISTRIBUTED AUTHENTICATION SYSTEM (DAS)

    DEC has decided to turn over change control for their distributed authentication system (DAS) to the IAB/IETF. In accordance with IAB procedures, DEC has submitted a letter to the IAB, promising to license the intellectual property of the DAS architecture for a “rea- sonable” cost and without discrimination. The group discussed at length whether DEC’s letter was sufficient to proceed with standar- dizing DAS. Lauck informed the group that it is DEC’s intent to allow Internet standardization of DAS at a “truly reasonable” cost. In fact, if we asked, we would find out that it was as reasonable as possible; however, the IAB procedure did not ask for specifics.

    It was ultimately agreed to accept the letter, inform the DAS working group of the conditions stated in the letter, and include those con- ditions in the charter of the working group. This will be a test case for the IAB policy on vendor proprietary protocols.

7. ‘FUTURE OF THE INTERNET ARCHITECTURE’ RFC

    The ExecD has edited together the summary reports prepared by the five group chairs from the “Future of the Internet Architecture” retreat held by the IAB and IESG last June. These reports were pre- viously published in the IETF Proceedings from Atlanta.

    It was agreed to publish this document as an RFC, with “just a little more work.” It should be explicitly preliminary, and titled some- thing like “Towards the Future of the Internet.”

      NEW ACTION: ExecD: Update and publish Future Internet Architecture document.

    This led to a discussion of when to schedule a new meeting on the future architecture. After agonizing over dates, it was decided (somewhat reluctantly) that the only reasonable plan is to tack it onto the planned IAB meeting in January in Boston. Accordingly a second retreat is scheduled for January 8-9, 1992 in Boston.

8. OSPF APPLICABILITY STATEMENT

    Chapin’s draft Applicability Statement for OSPF was accepted, needing only some RFC numbers to complete the references.

9. ‘GUIDELINES FOR SECURE OPERATION OF THE INTERNET’

    Postel reported that editing is in progress to publish this RFC. The IAB wants it published in ASCII as well as Postscript, since there are no figures.

10. USER INTERFACE STANDARDIZATION

    At the last meeting, the IAB discussed a proposed presentation address encoding specification with the working group chair, Steve Hardcastle-Kille. The decision at that time was that, since it is generally inappropriate to standardize user interfaces, this specifi- cation should be published as an Informational RFC. In later IAB discussions, a distinction was made between user-user interface con- ventions, which might be subject to standardization, and user-program interface standards, which should not be standardized. The IAB reconsidered the presentation address encoding in that light, but concluded that it would be best to stick with the informational RFC decision.

    There was discussion of whether the X.500 “user-friendly naming” (UFN) document should be entered into the standards track, or even published at all. This had been suggested as a way to enter X.500 names on business cards, and as a user-user interface it should be subject to standardization. However, some felt that it specifies a way to enter data to a program, which precludes standardization. It was strongly urged that any human interchange format which is stand- ardized must be unambiguous.

      NEW ACTION: Huitema and Kent: Respond to IESG and Steve Hardcastle-Kille with a summary of the IAB’s discussion of UFN.

11. IP SECURITY OPTION (DoD IPSO)

    It was noted that the DoD IPSO specification is *finally* passed as a Proposed Standard. The RFC Editor announced that it will be pub- lished with the original number, RFC-1108.

12. CCIRN REPORT

    Leiner summarized the last CCIRN meeting.

      NEW ACTION: Leiner: Ask CCIRN for permission to publish CCIRN news in an IAB or ISOC publication, e.g., the IMR.

13. FUTURE MEETINGS

  • December 5, 1991: Conference call.

  • December 19, 1991: Conference call.

  • January 7,10, 1992 at BBN in Boston: IAB meeting

  • January 8-9, 1002 at BBN in Boston: Future Architecture II.

  • March 16 (6-10PM), 17, 1992 at IETF in San Diego.

  • June 19, 1992, at ISOC/INET ’92 meeting in Kobe, Japan.

APPENDIX A – AGENDA


    IAB MEETING
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Tuesday, November 19, 1991

    9:00 Action Items

    9:15 Status Report
    o ISOC [Cerf]

    9:30 Standards Procedural Issues
    o Protocol Standards Procedures document
    o STD RFC
    o RFC copyrights
    o Policy Statement: No use of RFCs as advertising channel

    10:45 Break

    11:00 IAB/ISOC Relationship

    12:00 Lunch

    12:30 MILNET Issues
    o DNS Statement
    o Security Monitoring

    13:00 DEC DAS (Distributed Authentication Services) technology

    13:15 Future of Internet Architecture
    o RFC [ExecD]
    o Routing Task Group: status [Cerf, Ford]

    14:00 Policy on User Interface Standards
    o Presentation Address Encoding: reconsider PS?
    o X.500 “User-Friendly Naming”

    15:00 Break

    15:15 Further Discussion of Router Requirements Issues

    16:00 OSPF Applicability Statement

    17:00 Adjourn


APPENDIX B — NEW ACTION ITEMS

    NEW ACTION: Chapin: Draft IAB statement for first ISOC newsletter.

    NEW ACTION: Cerf: Send to the IAB members the current descriptive information and the proposed bylaws of ISOC.

    NEW ACTION: Chapin: Draft subsection on intellectual property.

    NEW ACTION: ExecD: Update and publish Official Standards Procedures RFC.

    NEW ACTION: RFC Editor: Publish STD RFC.

    NEW ACTION: Cerf: Get an attorney’s advice on statement regarding reproduction to be included on RFCs.

    NEW ACTION: Cerf: Get an attorney’s advice on copyright issues for Internet-Drafts.

    NEW ACTION: Postel: Document policy against vendor advertising in “Instructions to RFC Authors” document.

    NEW ACTION: Chapin: Revise the draft IAB charter and propose it to the ISOC Board of Trustees.

    NEW ACTION: Cerf: Produce a (non-RFC) document suggesting an appropriate policy statement in favor of the DNS, with a cover letter directed to the Milnet operators.

    NEW ACTION: Braun: Draft appropriate statement about the use of X.500 in the future.

    NEW ACTION: ExecD: Update and publish Future Internet Architecture document.

    NEW ACTION: Huitema and Kent: Respond to IESG and Steve Hardcastle-Kille with a summary of the IAB’s discussion of UFN.

    NEW ACTION: Leiner: Ask CCIRN for permission to publish CCIRN news in IAB or ISOC publication, e.g., the IMR.