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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 rfc5111                            Experimental
Network Working Group                                           B. Aboba
Internet-Draft                                     Microsoft Corporation
Intended Status: Experimental                                 L. Dondeti
Expires: April 14, 2008                                   QUALCOMM, Inc.
                                                         22 October 2007

          Experiment in Exploratory Group Formation within the
                 Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
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   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 14, 2008.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).


   This document describes an RFC 3933 experiment in the Working Group
   formation process, known as the Exploratory Group.  Exploratory
   Groups may be created as the first step toward Working Group
   formation, or as an intermediate step between a Birds of a Feather
   (BOF) session and Working Group creation.  Exploratory Groups are
   focused on completion of prerequisites for Working Group formation,
   and as a result they have a short life-time, with limited
   opportunities for milestone extension.

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Table of Contents

1.  Introduction .................................................  3
    1.1   Requirements ...........................................  4
2.  Exploratory Group Formation ..................................  4
3.  The Experiment ...............................................  6
    3.1  Success Metrics .........................................  6
4.  Security Considerations ......................................  7
5.  IANA Considerations ..........................................  7
6.  References ...................................................  7
    6.1  Normative References ....................................  7
    6.2  Informative References ..................................  7
Acknowledgments ..................................................  8
Author's Addresses ...............................................  8
Full Copyright Statement .........................................  9
Intellectual Property ............................................  9

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1.  Introduction

   "IETF Working Group Guidelines and Procedures" [RFC2418] describes
   the Working Group formation process within the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  As noted in RFC 2418 [RFC2418] Section 2.1:

      When determining whether it is appropriate to create a working
      group, the Area Director(s) and the IESG will consider several

      - Are the issues that the working group plans to address
        clear and relevant to the Internet community?

      - Are the goals specific and reasonably achievable, and
        achievable within a reasonable time frame?

      - What are the risks and urgency of the work, to determine
        the level of effort required?

      - Do the working group's activities overlap with those of
        another working group?

      - Is there sufficient interest within the IETF in the working
        group's topic with enough people willing to expend the effort
        to produce the desired result (e.g., a protocol specification)?

      - Is there enough expertise within the IETF in the working
        group's topic, and are those people interested in
        contributing in the working group?

      - Does a base of interested consumers (end-users) appear to
        exist for the planned work?

      - Does the IETF have a reasonable role to play in the
        determination of the technology?

      - Are all known intellectual property rights relevant to
        the proposed working group's efforts issues understood?

      - Is the proposed work plan an open IETF effort or is it an
        attempt to "bless" non-IETF technology where the effect of
        input from IETF participants may be limited?

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      - Is there a good understanding of any existing work that is
        relevant to the topics that the proposed working group is to
        pursue?  This includes work within the IETF and elsewhere.

      - Do the working group's goals overlap with known work in
        another standards body, and if so is adequate liaison
        in place?

   In some situations, while interest on the part of IETF participants
   and end-users may be evident, and the relevance to the Internet
   community may be demonstrated, the answer to other questions (such as
   an understanding of existing work, clarity or achievability of goals,
   or overlap with existing working groups or standards bodies) may not
   be as clear.  In the past, the likely outcome in this circumstance
   has been to postpone Working Group formation or even Birds of a
   Feather (BOF) sessions until satisfactory answers are forthcoming.
   However, in practice this may leave the status of the potential
   Working Group officially undetermined for months or even years.
   While the Area Directors should provide potential Working Group
   participants timely updates on the status of the potential Working
   Group and insight into IESG or IAB concerns, currently there is no
   mechanism to track progress toward Working Group creation, and as a
   result, participants may not have a clear understanding of the status
   or the next steps.  Also, the lack of formal recognition may
   negatively affect the motivation of the participants, and may leave
   those who have not followed the effort closely with an impression
   that no work is going on.

   This document describes an RFC 3933 [RFC3933] experiment in the
   Working Group (WG) formation process, known as the Exploratory Group
   (EG).  Exploratory Group milestones are focused on completion of
   prerequisites for Working Group formation, and as a result they are
   expected to conclude within a short time frame, with limited
   opportunities for milestone extension.

   This Exploratory Group experiment does not alter the Working Group
   formation guidelines described in RFC 2418 [RFC2418] Section 2.1, or
   the Internet Standards Process described in RFC 2026 [RFC2026].
   Rather it builds on these existing processes, introducing an element
   of formality which may be useful in clarifying IESG and/or IAB
   concerns relating to Working Group formation criteria and motivating
   more rapid progress toward their resolution.  Since Exploratory Group
   documents (including the EG Charter and potential WG Charter) are
   reviewed and comments are tracked using existing tools and processes,
   feedback is available to Exploratory Group chairs and authors,
   providing for transparency and accountability.

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1.1.  Requirements

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2.  Exploratory Group Formation

   If at any point during the Working Group formation process, relevance
   to the Internet community and interest within the IETF and end-user
   community has been demonstrated, but one or more Working Group
   formation criteria outlined in RFC 2418 [RFC2418] Section 2.1 has not
   yet been met, the IESG MAY propose that an Exploratory Group be
   formed.  Exploratory Groups MAY be created as the first step toward
   Working Group formation, or as an intermediate step between an
   initial Birds of a Feather (BOF) session and Working Group creation.
   The formation of an Exploratory Group after a second BoF is NOT

   Since the goal of an Exploratory Group is to put in place the
   prerequisites for formation of a Working Group more rapidly than
   might otherwise be possible, Exploratory Groups SHOULD initially be
   chartered for a period of six months to twelve months, with six
   months being the default.  While the IESG MAY extend the initial
   Exploratory Group milestones by an additional six months, extensions
   beyond this are NOT RECOMMENDED.  The Exploratory Group Charter
   SHOULD include at least the following "basic milestones":

      o Development of a Working Group Charter.

      o Development of a document demonstrating fulfillment of
        the Working Group formation criteria described in
        RFC 2418 [RFC2418] Section 2.1.

   The IESG MAY also include additional milestones within an Exploratory
   Group charter (such as development of a problem statement or
   requirements document and/or completion of a review of the literature
   or current practices), as long as these additional milestones do not
   compromise the ability of the Exploratory Group to deliver on the
   basic milestones in a timely way.  A Exploratory Group charter MUST
   NOT include milestones relating to development of standards track
   documents or protocol specifications.

   Since the Exploratory Group experiment is not intended as a
   substitute for the existing Working Group formation process,
   Exploratory Groups SHOULD be formed only in situations where the
   prerequisites for formation of a WG are likely to be met if the EG
   successfully completes the basic milestones.

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3.  The Experiment

   This experiment runs for a period of 18 months from IESG approval of
   the experiment.  During the period of the experiment, the IESG MAY
   approve formation of as many as three Exploratory Groups.  The IESG
   MUST inform the community in a public statement of any decisions for
   Exploratory Group formation approved under this experiment.  Such a
   statement SHOULD include a description of specific Exploratory Group
   that was formed.

   Given that this is an experiment, the intent is for Exploratory
   Groups to be handled identically to Working Groups in terms of IETF
   process, tools and infrastructure; no additional burden is to be
   imposed on the IETF Secretariat.  Other than the abbreviated
   Exploratory Group charter, the process for formation of an
   Exploratory Group is identical to that of a Working Group, including
   review by the IAB and IESG, announcement of the potential Exploratory
   Group, and request for review by the IETF community.  The operating
   rules of an Exploratory Group (openness, meeting requirements, etc.)
   are identical to Working Groups.  From the point of view of IETF
   infrastructure (tools, membership in the WGCHAIRS mailing list,
   process rules, Exploratory Group Charter pages, etc.)  Exploratory
   Groups are treated identically to Working Groups, with the exception
   that Exploratory Group names should include "EG" within the name
   (e.g. "EXAMPLEEG"), so as to clearly differentiate them from Working

   Review of Exploratory Group documents will utilize the same tracking
   tools and processes (including PROTO sheparding) as other IETF
   documents; this allows feedback to be viewed by Exploratory Group
   Chairs and participants, as well as providing additional clarity on
   next steps.  Formation of an Exploratory Group requires the
   appointment of an Exploratory Group Chair, and a well defined set of
   Working Group formation criteria (agreement on the Working Group
   Charter, review of the formation criteria, problem statement or
   requirements document, etc. )

3.1.  Success Metrics

   Since one of the goals of this experiment is to enable the more rapid
   formation of Working Groups, the success of an individual Exploratory
   Group, as well as the experiment, can be measured based on the
   progress made toward Working Group formation.  Useful metrics

Progress on Basic Milestones
     A Exploratory Group that does not make progress on its basic
     milestones cannot be judged successful, regardless of its other

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     achievements, such as progress on a literature review or
     requirements document.  Progress on the basic milestones is
     measured by whether they are completed within the time-frame
     specified in the initial Exploratory Group Charter, and whether
     feedback from the IESG, IAB and IETF community is positive, leading
     the IESG to vote to form a Working Group.

Mailing List Activity
     Since one of the goals of the Exploratory Group experiment is to
     avoid a potential loss of interest among participants, evidence of
     continued engagement on the part of Exploratory Group participants
     based on mailing list activity is a potential success metric.
     Conversely, an Exploratory Group whose mailing list shows minimal
     traffic would probably not be a good candidate for milestone

4.  Security Considerations

   This document describes an experiment in the formation of Exploratory
   Groups.  It has no security considerations.

5.  IANA Considerations

   This draft requires no action by IANA.

6.  References

6.1.  Normative References

     Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3", RFC
     2026, October 1996.

     Bradner, S., "IETF Working Group Guidelines and Procedures", BCP
     25, RFC 2418, September 1998.

     Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
     Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

     Klensin, J. and S. Dawkins, "A Model for IETF Process Experiments",
     BCP 93, RFC 3933, November 2004.

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   The authors would like to thank Jari Arkko, Brian Carpenter, Thomas
   Narten, Lars Eggert, Eric Rescorla, Sam Hartman and John Klensin for
   valuable input.

Authors' Addresses

   Bernard Aboba
   Microsoft Corporation
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, WA 98052

   EMail: bernarda@microsoft.com
   Phone: +1 425 706 6605
   Fax:   +1 425 936 7329

   Lakshminath Dondeti
   5775 Morehouse Dr
   San Diego, CA

   Phone: +1 858-845-1267
   Email: ldondeti@qualcomm.com

Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).

   This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions
   contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors
   retain all their rights.

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

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Intellectual Property

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
   pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
   this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
   might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has
   made any independent effort to identify any such rights.  Information
   on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be
   found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
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   specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at

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