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About the IETF Datatracker

The IETF Datatracker is the primary day-to-day front-end to the IETF database for people who work on IETF standards. It contains data about the documents, working groups, meetings, agendas, minutes, presentations, and more, of the IETF. The primary public face of the IETF is at www.ietf.org.

The Datatracker is an open-source project, using GitHub.

There are release notes available since version 2.00.

Below you'll find a brief history of the datatracker development, in terms of the big moments. For the nitty-gritty week-to-week code changes, please check the release notes or the commit log.

Version 9.0.0: Timezone Aware Data

All timestamps in the database are now stored as UTC. Values reported through the API for several models changed, particularly Meeting based models such as TimeSlot where times had previously been stored in the timezone of the meeting location. The 9.0.0 release leaves _presentation_ of the times in Pacific (daylight/standard).

Version 8.0.0: Facelift using Bootstrap 5

Version 7.0.0: Django 2

Version 6.0.0: Facelift using Bootstrap 3

During more than a year, from July 2013 to late 2014, Lars Eggert worked intensively on a major facelift to the datatracker, porting the GUI to Bootstrap. The work took 287 separate commits, and comprised changes to 1016 different files.

This work has turned the IETF Datatracker website into a responsive website which support use on a much larger variety of devices, from small mobile devices to desktops.

The work relies heavily on the capabilities of Bootstrap, and continues to use the Django framework which the datatracker has been build on since version 2.00. It also uses icons from FontAwesome, and functions from django-bootstrap3.

Additional page conversion work was performed by Ole Laursen, with final style tweaks, bug-fixes and adaptations by Henrik Levkowetz, giving it a distinct colour palette (with the addition of complementing green and red colours for success and error indications), and a selection of fonts from ParaType (PT Serif for body text, PT Sans Caption for headers, PT Sans for menus, and PT Mono for monospaced documents). (Even if PT Sans Caption was created as a 'Caption' (6-8pt) optical size font to go with PT Sans, it works well for headers when paired with PT Serif.)

Version 5.0.0: Shim Removal

At this point, the views and templates were completely adapted to the new models introduced at 4.0.0

Version 4.00: New Database Schema

This release was a complete redesign of the underlying Django models. It introduced a set of facades, referred to as a "Shim Layer", which allowed the refactor to focus only on the models, leaving the views and templates for later adaptation.

Version 3.00: Django Port of the IESG Datatracker Pages

This release added the IESG only portions of the previous IESG tracker to the public Datatracker.

Version 2.00: Django Port of the Public Datatracker Pages

This release was a complete re-write of the CGI/Perl-based IESG datatracker in Python, using the Django framework. It comprised about 8000 lines of Python code, and 6000 lines of template code. The work was done as a skunkworks project by Bill Fenner and Henrik Levkowetz from mid-April to mid-May 2007, and continued as an official project from then on. The aim was to eliminate numerous SQL injection insecurities in the current code, and also provide a better framework on which to build future enhancements. During the most intensive period, Bill and Henrik worked 10 hours per day to get all public pages ported and released. The release was deployed in the early hours of 28 June 2007, and nobody noticed the change :-))

Version 1.0: Initial Perl/MySQL database and web-pages

The first version of the idtracker was commissioned by the IESG under Harald Alvestrand in 2001, and the IESG started using it at the beginning of 2002. It was written by Michael Lee in Perl, with direct SQL statements. It provided a major improvement in visibility of the progress of drafts by the IESG. The first public presentation of it and its capabilities was made 2002-11-20 in Atlanta by Thomas Narten.