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Alternative Decision Making Processes for Consensus-Blocked Decisions in the IETF (RFC3929)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032057D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Oct-21
Document File: 12 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

T. Hardie: AUTHOR

Abstract

This document proposes an experimental set of alternative decision- making processes for use in IETF working groups. There are a small number of cases in IETF working groups in which the group has come to consensus that a particular decision must be made but cannot agree on the decision itself. This document describes alternative mechanisms for reaching a decision in those cases. This is not meant to provide an exhaustive list, but to provide a known set of tools that can be used when needed.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 11% of the total text.

Network Working Group                                          T. Hardie

Request for Comments: 3929                                Qualcomm, Inc.

Category: Experimental                                      October 2004

                 Alternative Decision Making Processes

              for Consensus-Blocked Decisions in the IETF

Status of this Memo

   This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet

   community.  It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.

   Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.

   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).

Abstract

   This document proposes an experimental set of alternative decision-

   making processes for use in IETF working groups.  There are a small

   number of cases in IETF working groups in which the group has come to

   consensus that a particular decision must be made but cannot agree on

   the decision itself.  This document describes alternative mechanisms

   for reaching a decision in those cases.  This is not meant to provide

   an exhaustive list, but to provide a known set of tools that can be

   used when needed.

1.  Introduction

   Dave Clark's much-quoted credo for the IETF describes "rough

   consensus and running code" as the key criteria for decision making

   in the IETF.  Aside from a pleasing alliteration, these two

   touchstones provide a concise summary of the ideals that guide the

   IETF's decision making.  The first implies an open process in which

   any technical opinion will be heard and any participant's concerns

   addressed; the second implies a recognition that any decision must be

   grounded in solid engineering and the known characteristics of the

   network and its uses.  The aim of the IETF is to make the best

   possible engineering choices and protocol standards for the Internet

   as a whole, and these two principles guide it in making its choices

   and standards.

   In a small number of cases, working groups within the IETF cannot

   reach consensus on a technical decision that must be made in order to

   ensure that an interoperable mechanism or set of standards is

Hardie                        Experimental                      [Page 1]

RFC 3929        Consensus-Blocked Decisions in the IETF     October 2004

   available in some sphere.  In most of these cases, there are two or

   more competing proposals at approximately the same level of technical

   maturity, deployment, and specification.  In some cases, working

   groups can achieve consensus to advance multiple proposals and either

   to revisit the question with experience or to build the required

   mechanisms to handle multiple optio...