[Search] [txt|pdf|bibtex] [Tracker] [WG] [Email] [Nits]

Versions: 00                                                            
IAB and IESG                                                B. Carpenter
Internet Draft
October 1997

                  Improved Working Group Coordination



   This is a proposal for a pragmatic way to improve working group
   coordination between various standards-related organisations, by use
   of a shared mailing list for early announcement of new activities.

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
   documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas,
   and its working groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet- Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as ``work in progress.''

   To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check the
   ``1id-abstracts.txt'' listing contained in the Internet- Drafts
   Shadow Directories on ds.internic.net (US East Coast), nic.nordu.net
   (Europe), ftp.isi.edu (US West Coast), or munnari.oz.au (Pacific

Carpenter                 Expires April 1998                    [Page 1]

Internet Draft    Improved Working Group Coordination       October 1997


   A number of organisations develop technical specifications or
   standards related to the Internet. Especially in the upper protocol
   layers, the areas of interest often overlap between two or more
   organisations. It is therefore in everyone's interest that when new
   activities are started in a given organisation, the others know about
   it. This is not intended to cause forced marriages of working groups,
   or interference by one organisation in another, but just to ensure
   that everyone will know where liaison and coordination is needed.

   This proposal has been deliberately kept as simple and easy as
   possible, with the intention of being trivial to implement and

   The proposal is that an ad hoc email list should be created, e.g.
   new-work@ietf.org . Each participating organisation would supply
   approximately two email addresses to be added to this list.
   [Examples for the IETF could be the IAB Chair and the IETF Executive
   Director].  It is suggested that these addresses should be
   individuals rather than mailing lists, to avoid email difficulties
   with multiple layers of distribution lists.

   Each participating organisation would undertake to send an ASCII
   message to this list *prior to* deciding to start a new
   standardisation effort related to the Internet. That is all; there is
   no other formal obligation.  The addressees in each organisation are
   expected to distribute these messages within their own organisation
   as relevant.  They should follow up any case where there appears to
   be an issue of coordination or liaison, using any suitable

   The granularity of this will depend on each organisation and will be
   determined by each organisation.  [An example for the IETF would be
   to send each draft WG Charter or charter update to the list, or, for
   JTC1, each NWI submission. For organisations with quasi-permanent
   working groups, it would be necessary to send a message for each new
   major work item.]

   In cases where complete specifications are being fast-tracked by one
   of the participating organisations, the warning message should be
   sent at the earliest possible stage, before formal processing has

   The initial list of organisations invited to join this system is (in
   alphabetical order)


   The list can of course be expanded, but should not include
   organisations of purely national or otherwise very limited scope, and
   should only include organisations that actively produce Internet-
   related technical specifications. Lower layer fora (ATM, Frame Relay,
   ADSL...) are not included because they generally have simple one-to-
   one relationships with Internet standards from the IETF alone.

Carpenter                 Expires April 1998                    [Page 2]

Internet Draft    Improved Working Group Coordination       October 1997

Security considerations

   It would be preferable if the authorised senders to the list used a
   common method of email authentication.


   The IAB and the IESG contributed to this proposal.

Author's Address

     Brian E Carpenter
     Internet Division
     IBM United Kingdom Laboratories         brian@hursley.ibm.com
     MP 185, Hursley Park                    phone: +44 1962 816833
     Winchester, Hampshire SO21 2JN, UK      fax:   +44 1962 818101

Carpenter                 Expires April 1998                    [Page 3]