TCP is currently the Internet's predominant transport protocol. TCPM
is the working group within the IETF that handles small TCP changes,
i.e., minor extensions to TCP algorithms and protocol mechanisms.
The TCPM WG serves several purposes:
* The WG mostly focuses on maintenance issues (e.g., bug fixes) and
modest changes to the protocol, algorithms, and interfaces that
maintain TCP's utility.
* The WG is a venue for moving current TCP specifications along the
standards track (as community energy is available for such efforts).
* The focus of the working group is TCP. In cases where small
changes are directly applicable to other transports (e.g., SCTP or
DCCP), the mappings to other transports may be specified alongside
that for TCP, but other significant additions and changes to other
transports are not in scope.
TCPM also provides a venue for standardization of incremental
enhancements of TCP's standard congestion control, but such changes
may require additional review by the IRTF Congestion Control
Research Group (ICCRG). Fundamental changes to TCP or its congestion
control algorithms (e.g., departure from loss-based congestion
control) will be handled by other working groups or will require
TCP's congestion control algorithms are the model followed by
alternate transports (e.g., SCTP or DCCP), which are standardized in
other working groups, such as the Transport Area WG (tsvwg). In the
past, the IETF has worked on several documents about algorithms that
are specified for multiple protocols (e.g., TCP and SCTP) in the
same document. Which WG shepherds such documents will be determined
on a case-by-case basis. In any case, the TCPM WG will remain in
close contact with other relevant WGs working on these protocols to
ensure openness and stringent review from all angles.
New TCPM milestones that fall within the scope specified within the
charter can be added after consensus on acceptance in the working
group and approval by the responsible Area Director.