protocols that don't meet the need...

Per Heldal heldal at
Tue Feb 14 23:47:04 UTC 2006

On Tue, 14 Feb 2006 12:35:19 -0800, "Tony Hain" <alh-ietf at>
> A thought I had on the plane last night about the disconnect between the
> NANOG and IETF community which leaves protocol development to run
> open-loop.

The real problem is that people have unrealistic expectations wrt the
IETF. What happened to the "engineering spirit" that dominated the
internet-community before it was invaded by telco-guys in the late 90s?

A couple points:

1. IETF does not and should not innovate.

2. IETF never did, can not, will not and should not be expected to solve
anyone's problem.

Sound bad? Not really. The IETF's role is to preserve and protect
technology for public consumption. If there's a problem, solve it. If
the solution is any good it may have the potential to become a standard
later, but the solution should always come first. There are plenty of
organisations making paper-standards going nowhere. There's enough
people trying to turn the IETF into another useless papermill already.
Today there are IETF-standards in progress for which there exist no
implementation. Not even experimental code. Such standards are most
likely DOA, so why bother?

OTOH, NANOG-people should be more involved in core engineering issues.
Most nanog'ers, with the exception of those representing small companies
which don't separate engineering from operations, belong in the
engineering category anyway. The problem is to convince their L8+ that
their company never will rule the world alone, and that it may be wise
to let their engineers cooperate with competitors on the some of the big

  Per Heldal

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