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Anybody can participate in the IETF (Was: Why is IPv6 broken?)

On 07/10/2011 12:45, Owen DeLong wrote:
> On Jul 10, 2011, at 9:16 AM, Jeroen Massar wrote:
>> On 2011-07-10 17:56 , David Miller wrote:
>> [..]
>>> +1
>>> The lack of will on the part of the IETF to attract input from and involve
>>> operators in their processes (which I would posit is a critical element in
>>> the process).

Discussing how the IETF should fix itself is both fruitless, and off
topic for this list. However ...

> While this is true, there are a couple of factors that make it more difficult
> than it would appear on the surface.
> Number one: Participating effectively in IETF is a rather time-consuming
> process. While a lot of engineers and developers may have IETF effort
> as a primary part of their job function and/or get their employer to let
> them spend time on it, operators are often too busy keeping what they
> already have running and it can be _VERY_ difficult to get management
> to support the idea of investing time in things like IETF which are not
> seen by management as having direct operational impact. NANOG
> is about the limit of their vision on such things and even that is not
> well supported in a lot of organizations.
> Number two: While anyone can participate, approaching IETF as an
> operator requires a rather thick skin, or, at least it did the last couple
> of times I attempted to participate. I've watched a few times where
> operators were shouted down by purists and religion over basic
> real-world operational concerns. It seems to be a relatively routine
> practice and does not lead to operators wanting to come back to
> an environment where they feel unwelcome.

What you're saying is absolutely right (unfortunately), but the answer
is that operators need to suck it up and get involved. The problem will
not fix itself if we don't.

The good news is that in many areas (at least, the areas that I
participate in) there is starting to be a lot more sympathy toward
operational concerns/realities, and real progress is being made. Yes,
it's slow, arduous, and often frustrating. (How's that for a sales
pitch?) But there is literally no other solution to improving the
situation that for the people that care to get involved in helping to
fix it.

For those interested in IPv6 I highly recommend subscribing to the the
6man and v6ops lists, listen in on the conversations for a while, and
then chime in when you feel comfortable. Treat those on the list with
the same courtesy and respect that you'd like to be treated with, and
way more often than not it will bear fruit.




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