[Standards] Experimental XEPs

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Thu Aug 16 10:33:34 UTC 2007

On Wed Aug 15 22:57:23 2007, Peter Saint-Andre wrote:
> Based on my experience in the IETF since 2002, I am not familiar 
> with a
> formal process for doing draft proposals there. You just publish an
> Internet-Draft, others may propose similar or competing I-Ds, and 
> you
> hash it out on mailing lists and at in-person meetings. Hmm, that 
> sounds
> awfully familiar...
There is a formal process, it's just very lightweight.

In order to publish an ID, you need to have the formatting correct 
and have the IPR boilerplate correct (and current). You also need to 
name your draft correctly, and a handful of other minor things.

In return, the IETF Secretariat then publish it for you for six 
months. In practice, it's longer than that, since the Tools Team 
publish the lot in perpetuity.

This is all very similar to the Inbox we have, although there's a 
general expectation that a document still undergoing serious work 
will remain an ID - it's only published as an RFC much later in the 
process, when it's generally believed to be finished. This is in part 
a reflection of the original paper-based publication method - once 
something's published, you can't change it if it's been sent out in 
the post. (Anyone wondering why they used to be paper needs to figure 
out what the IETF developed).

For our purposes, simply lessening the expectation that anything 
hitting the Inbox should immediately be published or killed would be 
sufficient. I would personally recommend revisiting XEP-1's section 
5. In particular, I'd suggest that the publication of something in 
the Inbox and the request to the Council should be distinct actions, 
and the latter should be handled by the document author, not the XMPP 
Extensions Editor. (Although they're often the same person...)

I suspect that this would reduce the number of published XEPs, 
leaving - hopefully - only those that we want to keep, and only that 
subset of them that are reasonably stable and complete.

As for developing WG-like entities again, we could certainly look at 
that. There are advantages to this kind of behaviour - we limit the 
traffic on mailing lists somewhat - but it can also lead to 
fragmentation. It might be better to encourage initial design work to 
happen on alternate lists, but to move back onto the primary list for 
finalization, to gain a wider audience (in particular before it 
becomes a XEP). I think it needs thought. (Which could come from a 
SIG, of course).

Dave Cridland - mailto:dave at cridland.net - xmpp:dwd at jabber.org
  - acap://acap.dave.cridland.net/byowner/user/dwd/bookmarks/
  - http://dave.cridland.net/
Infotrope Polymer - ACAP, IMAP, ESMTP, and Lemonade

More information about the Standards mailing list