[Standards] A Meta-Discussion about the Standards Process

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at mozilla.com
Thu Jan 16 21:18:37 UTC 2020

On 12/13/19 6:58 AM, Dave Cridland wrote:
> On Thu, 12 Dec 2019 at 16:41, Daniel Gultsch <daniel at gultsch.de
> <mailto:daniel at gultsch.de>> wrote:
>     I mean correct me if I'm wrong but the IETF seems to be doing fine
>     with just two stages.
> Some history...
> The IETF used to have, essentially, three stages. Proposed Standard,
> Draft Standard, and Internet Standard - the latter getting a STD number
> as well as the RFC number. PS was the wild west,

Actually, the wild west was not so wild. [1]

> with (fairly) low
> requirements. 
> Then they formalized the step before, Internet Drafts, and
> gradually the Proposed Standard quality (and gating function by the
> IESG) improved, to the point where it was felt that there was an
> additional stage that added little, so they dropped it.
> Peter Saint-Andre (I think) designed our standards process to avoid the
> Internet Draft stage and go straight to the wild-west of Experimental,
> but it's otherwise the same as the original IETF design.

Originally, the Editor (me) accepted anything for publication as a JEP,
after minimal coherence / formatting checks and IPR assignment. Then the
Council decided it wanted to act as a gate to publication, which is how
got here. Instead of adding more epicycles, I propose that we remove the
one we added. Consider me in favor of the "Daniel Plan".


[1] https://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?id=552

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