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IAB Minutes 1994-04-29

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    Brian Carpenter
    Steve Crocker
    Robert Elz
    Elise Gerich
    Phil Gross
    Christian Huitema
    John Klensin
    Paul Mockapetris
    Jon Postel
    Yakov Rekhter
    John Romkey
    Dave Sincoskie
    Mike St. Johns
    Abel Weinrib
    Lixia Zhang


    Teleconference Tuesday May 24 at 10:00 EDT.


  1. Christian Huitema: Edit ISO liaison document to indicate where JTC1 needs to add symmetric text.

  2. Christian Huitema: Submit the liaison document to IESG for last call and publication as an informational RFC.

  3. Brian Carpenter: Gather information to learn more about the nature and scope of the problems with ISOC/IAB/IETF image. Obtain comments from various communities and report on the results.

  4. Elise Gerich: Create a sample report/press release for the month of April.

  5. Paul Mockapetris, Steve Crocker, Jon Postel: Determine which documents are required to obtain insurance (just standards process documents, or complete set?). Get these documents cleaned up in time for the June ISOC trustees meeting–by identifying those people willing to do it, and then pushing them.

  6. John Romkey: Start to plan IAB retreat on interesting applications over the Internet. Decide on date and location. Determine problems, agenda, experts to be approached, etc.

  7. Abel Weinrib: Collect votes on issues for next meeting.




    Item 1: Bash the agenda

      Item 2b) added at Paul Mockapetris’ request.

    Item 2: Report on the ISO liaison:

        This has been going on forever. We need a formal decision now, in time for passing this to SC6 for completion (their part) and approval. It seems that we need to liaise more with other groups, e.g. governments, FNC, the Eu Commission, etc. Do we have a line of action there?

      The document has been presented to the community for review, and a few comments have been received. One was that the document needs to indicate where symmetric language to be supplied by JTC1 is to go; it was agreed to modify the document in this way. Once modified, it was agreed that the document should be submitted to the IESG for a “last call” and then published as an informational RFC.

    Item 2a) ISOC/IAB/IETF image.

        Can IAB request the ISOC trustees to work on this by contacts with governments, industry leaders, etc.? Can the IAB develop a concrete briefing package for this?

      A substantial part of the meeting was spent on a discussion of whether there are image problems for the IAB, IETF, ISOC, and if so, what they are, who holds them, and how they might be fixed. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the negative images range from “a gang of hippies who shout at each other all day” to “crusty and ineffective.” The IETF has a loose and rude background and a culture of competition, both of which are viewed as positive by most of the IETF community, but perhaps less so by governmental bureaucrats, international standards bodies and large corporations. It was generally agreed that becoming a monopoly would not be a good idea, although different people probably had somewhat different ideas about quite what that means.

      One approach to addressing the perceived image problems would be to create a briefing package that conveys a positive image of ISOC, IAB, and IETF. The 1601 etc. series of RFCs could be reworked to explain in a simple fashion what the different organizations do. A second approach would be to generate regular press releases and/or reports to important people. Elise Gerich agreed to prepare a sample report for April (not for release, but to see what one might look like).

      It was agreed that more information is required on the nature and scope of the problem before taking action. Brian Carpenter agreed to survey people inside and outside the community and report on the results. There were some feelings expressed that as far as the IAB image is concerned, the cure is to continue to focus on architecture, run good workshops and write good RFCs on them.

    Item 2b) Accelerate getting POISED RFC 1602 completed

      The issue is that some version of some set of the POISED suite of documents (RFCs 1601, 1602, etc.) must be approved by ISOC to get insurance. The ISOC trustees meet in June and December, so even if the POISED process presents at the July IETF meeting in Toronto, it is currently looking like the process will not complete until 1995.

      It became apparent that we do not know which documents are required for insurance–just the standards process document or all of them? An action item was created to identify which documents are required, and then to try to get them completed for approval at the June ISOC meeting.

    Item 3: Follow on of the security retreat:

        What is left before the report is published?
        What is left to do after the report is published – how do we push the most urgent items, e.g. “no password in the clear ever”?
        A report on the patents + Clipper front is welcomed here, specially in the DNS context. Do we have to throw the IAB in the discussion?

      Bob Braden sent mail to the IAB list saying that the report is almost complete and wants to publish it as an RFC. Good!

      It was pointed out that the report could use a good executive summary that highlights the recommendations up front. The tone of the summary (and the document as a whole) must be “friendly advice” rather than “marching orders.”

      There was also a discussion about creating a press release about security in the Internet, possibly jointly with the Security Area Directorate. (One of the reasons for a press release would be to increase the visibility of the IAB and perhaps address some of the image problems discussed above.) The press release could contain a pointer to the report and a discussion of short term fixes that would increase the security of the Internet. This raised questions about the delicate issue of on whose authority the IAB would be speaking (Kobe was mentioned) and what a press release would accomplish. Dave Sincoskie warned that press releases must be targeted with precision or they can backfire.

      No decision was made about a press release. As far as influencing the Internet community itself, the RFC will come out soon and it is expected that there will be BOFs on issues raised in the report at the next IETF.

    Item 4: The big soul searching discussion on rating issues:

        Security architecture.
        Multi-protocol architecture.
        The Internet as a system. Interaction between the protocols.
        Operational infrastructure.
        Framework for operational coordination.
        Resource allocation.
        Mobile computing.
        Gigabit & the future Internet.
        Make it easy to use by users.
        Interaction with public networks — and PTTs.
        Architecture for distributed applications.
        Naming and discovery.
        Scaling (now CIDR, then IPng).
        CSCW tools (whiteboards and such),
        Support for commercial transactions (EDI?)
        Electronic payment
        Support for real time applications
        Routing architecture for a multi-provider, international Internet Accounting.
        Impact on architecture of switched subnets
        Information infrastructure

        I would ask that we conduct a formal vote first, on the list, to prepare the discussion. I suggest that each of us list the three items in this list which he/she believes are the most important. That might help focusing the discussion.

      There was not enough time to address this issue. It was decided to collect votes on the list of issues by E-mail. The results of the voting will be used to guide a discussion of this topic during the next meeting.

    Item 5: Planning future workshops:

      1. What topics? (Related to Item 4 discussion)
      2. The old IAB (Barry Leiner) more or less committed itself vs. the applications areas. There is certainly a need of action there, e.g. on white pages, Electronic payment, Architecture for distributed applications, Naming and discovery. As Barry left, we have to designate an IAB leader for this, that will supervise the organization.
      3. At the last retreat the participants were asked to contribute suggestions for future retreats. Steve Knowles raised the issue that generated the most interest and heat–it could loosely be characterized as “does the IETF process scare away good technology?”

      There was general agreement that the IAB should hold a workshop on interesting applications over the Internet in early autumn (in time for a report to be presented at the December IETF meeting). The goal would be to bring together people actively working in the area (who are perhaps strong in “implementation” but relatively weak in “architecture”) in an environment ripe with technical experts in relevant subjects. The IAB’s role would be to enable and moderate the meeting, not to supply revelation.

      Paul Mockapetris expressed the opinion that the retreat/workshop should cover new ground and avoid areas which have already been covered many times, and areas where rat holes were expected (e.g. white pages and directory services), but the general feeling was that would not be possible.

      John Romkey will take the lead in planning for the workshop. A tentative date of early to mid September was agreed upon, subject to checking on conflicting meetings. ISI may be able to host the workshop.

These minutes were prepared by Abel Weinrib, An online copy of these and other minutes are available in the directory