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[ih] FTP Design


On 7/3/2012 11:29 AM, SM wrote:
> Hi Dave,
> At 10:00 03-07-2012, Dave Crocker wrote:
>> Quite a bit of current IETF work appears slanted more towards an
>> initial completeness that attempts to satisfy the /union/ of
>> participants' desires, rather than the earlier IETF mode of seeking an
>> initial version that satisfied only the /intersection/, deferring the
>> remainder for later enhancement efforts.
> The "process" is fashioned in such a way that it is easier to satisfy
> the desires of participants than to argue.  That would not be much of a
> problem if these "enhancements" were pruned by natural selection at the
> next stage.  The rarely happens.

In earlier days, participants had a sense of urgency, wanting to get 
something that worked shipped as soon as possible.  This provided 
pressure for deferring issues that created delay in the design.

As other have noted in this thread, there was also greater appreciation 
for what we all simplistically call elegance.

It takes more diligence to create tight designs.

> It's a bit more complicated than that.  There is a larger group of
> people, more external pressure and formalism.  I wonder whether the
> following would be palatable nowadays:
>    "The objectives of FTP are 1) to promote sharing of files"

I don't think formalism has anything to do with it; we been formal for a 
very long time.

As for 'external pressure' I think the loss of urgency actually 
represents a reduction in pragmatic pressures.(*)

As for the number of people involved, I actually believe the size of 
many ietf group's active core has gone down, not up.  It's pretty 
typical to see only 3-5 people being active, now.


(*) A few years ago, I heard an argument that the extended duty cycle 
for IETF work -- multiple years to produce a standard, in a world with 
6-12month product cycles -- can get someone fired because their work is 
of little relevance to products.  At the least, this means that the folk 
who attend the IETF often are not the senior engineering talent that we 
used to attract, but rather professional standards folk.

  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking