[Foundation] Should the IETF standardize the protocol?

Joe Hildebrand hildjj at cursive.net
Wed Jul 31 09:23:11 CDT 2002

Theo said:
> I personally would like to find practical ways for the JSF 
> [...] to retain full control over the protocol instead of the IETF, 

Sorry to pick out just one thing, and I know this is going to be part of
the debate process, but I'm traveling during the 24 hours for debate,
and I thought this was important enough to discuss anyway.

I just want to make sure that people know that if you don't want the
IETF to have change control over the protocol, it's the same thing as
not wanting an IETF standard for the protocol.  The IETF demands change
control as a condition of taking on the work.

Now, the IETF may not need to standardize the entire protocol.  So far,
the drafts that have been submitted are just the basics (stream:stream,
message, presence, iq, register, auth, roster, I think).  It may be that
any working group that might be formed might only be interested in the

The other point I'd like to make is that the IETF is not exclusive.
There's no fee for participation on the mailing lists, and even though
there are fees for the IRL meetings, usually those serve as
ratifications of things that have happened on the mailing lists.  So,
people who want to make decisions about the protocol will still be able
to do so, but the words at the top of the document would have to be

I'd like to point out that in the BOF meeting, I took a lot of heat on
this issue, since I didn't stand up and say "absolutely, you guys can
control everything."  What I said was that we have an existing process
in the JSF, and that we would have to reach consensus within the JSF
that handing over change control to the IETF is the right thing.

Even though the IETF hasn't said yes to a working group yet, now is the
time to start the debate about whether having an IETF standard is the
right thing for us as a community.  I'd say that the answer to this
should be a clear "yes", since I think it is the best way for the
protocol to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
Perhaps there are some really good arguments for not doing it, though.

Here are the questions at hand:
1) Should the protocol be standardized by the IETF?
2) If so, how much of it?

Joe Hildebrand
Denver, CO, USA

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