IETF Guidelines for Conduct (RFC3184)
Original Publication Date: 2001-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Nov-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This document provides a set of guidelines for personal interaction in the Internet Engineering Task Force. The Guidelines recognize the diversity of IETF participants, emphasize the value of mutual respect, and stress the broad applicability of our work.
Network Working Group S. Harris
Request for Comments: 3184 Merit Network
BCP: 54 October 2001
Category: Best Current Practice
IETF Guidelines for Conduct
Status of this Memo
This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
improvements. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001). All Rights Reserved.
This document provides a set of guidelines for personal interaction
in the Internet Engineering Task Force. The Guidelines recognize the
diversity of IETF participants, emphasize the value of mutual
respect, and stress the broad applicability of our work.
The work of the IETF relies on cooperation among a broad cultural
diversity of peoples, ideas, and communication styles. The
Guidelines for Conduct inform our interaction as we work together to
develop multiple, interoperable technologies for the Internet. All
IETF participants aim to abide by these Guidelines as we build
consensus in person, at IETF meetings, and in e-mail. If conflicts
arise, we resolve them according to the procedures outlined in BCP
2. Principles of Conduct
1. IETF participants extend respect and courtesy to their colleagues
at all times.
IETF participants come from diverse origins and backgrounds and
are equipped with multiple capabilities and ideals. Regardless of
these individual differences, participants treat their colleagues
with respect as persons--especially when it is difficult to agree
with them. Seeing from another's point of view is often
revealing, even when it fails to be compelling.
Harris Best Current Practice [Page 1]
RFC 3184 IETF Guidelines for Conduct October 2001
English is the de facto language of the IETF, but it is not the
native language of many IETF participants. Native English
speakers attempt to speak clearly and a bit slowly and to limit
the use of slang in order to accommodate the needs of all
2. IETF participants develop and test ideas impartially, without
finding fault with the colleague proposing the idea.
We dispute ideas by using reasoned argument, rather than through
intimidation or ad hominem attack. Or, said in a somewhat more
"Reduce the heat and increase the light"
3. IETF participants think globally, devising solutions that meet the
needs of diverse technical and operational environments.
The goal of the IETF is to maintain and enhance a working, viable,
scalable, global Internet, and the problems we encounter are
genuinely very difficult. We understand that "scaling is the
ultimate problem" and that many ideas quite workable in the small
fail this crucial test. IETF participants use their best
engineering judgment to find the best solution for the whole
Internet, not just the best solution for any particular network,
technology, vendor, or user. We follow the intellectual property
guidelines outlined in BCP 9.
4. Individuals who attend Wo...