The Tao of IETF - A Guide for New Attendees of the Internet Engineering Task Force
RFC 1718

Document Type RFC - Informational (November 1994; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 3160
Obsoletes RFC 1539
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                   IETF Secretariat
Request for Comments: 1718                                          CNRI
Obsoletes: 1539, 1391                                          G. Malkin
FYI: 17                                                   Xylogics, Inc.
Category: Informational                                    November 1994

                            The Tao of IETF
    A Guide for New Attendees of the Internet Engineering Task Force

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard.  Distribution of this memo is
   unlimited.

Abstract

   Over the last two years, the attendance at Internet Engineering Task
   Force (IETF) plenary meetings has grown phenomenally.  Approximately
   one third of the attendees are new to the IETF at each meeting, and
   many of those go on to become regular attendees.  When the meetings
   were smaller, it wasn't very difficult for a newcomer to get into the
   swing of things.  Today, however, a newcomer meets many more new
   people, some previously known only as the authors of documents or
   thought provoking e-mail messages.

   The purpose of this For Your Information (FYI) RFC is to explain to
   the newcomers how the IETF works.  This will give them a warm, fuzzy
   feeling and enable them to make the meeting more productive for
   everyone.  This FYI will also provide the mundane bits of information
   which everyone who attends an IETF meeting should know.

On-line Availability

   Due to the nature of this document, it can become outdated quite
   quickly.  To overcome this problem, a WorldWide Web version has been
   created that is constantly maintained (the URL is listed below).  If
   you have a WWW client (such as Mosaic), it is suggested that you view
   the on-line version in lieu of this document.  This document will be
   republished as an FYI RFC every year to year-and-a-half to help those
   who do not have access to the WorldWide Web.

   URL for this document: <http://www.ietf.cnri.reston.va.us/tao.html>.
   URL for IETF: <http://www.ietf.cnri.reston.va.us/home.html>.

Internet Engineering Task Force                                 [Page 1]
RFC 1718                    The Tao of IETF                November 1994

Table of Contents

   Section 1 - The "Fun" Stuff
      What is the IETF? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
      Humble Beginnings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
      The Hierarchy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
      IETF Mailing Lists  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
      Registration  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
      Newcomers' Orientation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
      Dress Code  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
      Seeing Spots Before Your Eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
      Terminal Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
      Social Event  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
      Agenda  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
      Other General Things  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9

   Section 2 - The "You've got to know it" Stuff
      Registration Bullets  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
      Mailing Lists and Archives  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
      Important E-mail Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
      IETF Proceedings  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
      InterNIC Archives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
      Be Prepared . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
      RFCs and Internet-Drafts  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
      Frequently Asked Questions (and Their Answers)  . . . . . . . 17
      Pointers to Useful Documents and Files  . . . . . . . . . . . 18

   Section 3 - The "Reference" Stuff
      Tao . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
      IETF Area Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
      Acronyms  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
      Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
      References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
      Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
      Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

What is the IETF?

   The Internet Engineering Task Force is a loosely self-organized group
   of people who make technical and other contributions to the
   engineering and evolution of the Internet and its technologies.  It
   is the principal body engaged in the development of new Internet
   standard specifications.  Its mission includes:

   o  Identifying, and proposing solutions to, pressing operational and
      technical problems in the Internet;

Internet Engineering Task Force                                 [Page 2]
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