The Process for Organization of Internet Standards Working Group (POISED) (RFC1396)
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This report provides a summary of the POISED Working Group (WG), starting from the events leading to the formation of the WG to the end of 1992. This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard.
Network Working Group S. Crocker Request for Comments: 1396 Trusted Information Systems, Inc. January 1993
The Process for Organization of Internet Standards Working Group (POISED) Steve Crocker, Chair
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.
This report provides a summary of the POISED Working Group (WG), starting from the events leading to the formation of the WG to the end of 1992. Necessarily, this synopsis represents my own perception, particularly for the "prehistory" period. Quite a few people hold strong views about both the overall sequence and specific events. My intent here is to convey as neutral a point of view as possible.
Background and Formation of POISED Working Group
The POISED WG resulted from two sequences of activity, both intimately related to the growth of the Internet. During 1991, there was great concern that the IP address space was being depleted and that the routing tables were growing too large. Some change in the IP addressing and routing mechanisms seemed inevitable, and it became urgent to explore and choose what those changes should be. The ROAD Working Group was formed to study the issues and recommend changes. The ROAD group returned with a specific recommendation for the short term, but did not reach a conclusion on a long term plan.
The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) then formulated a plan of action for further exploration of the issues and forwarded these recommendations to the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). In June 1992, after the INET ’92 meeting in Kobe, Japan, the IAB met and considered the IESG’s recommendations. After considering the IESG’s recommendations, the IAB felt that additional ideas were also important, particularly some of the addressing ideas in the CLNP protocol. The IAB communicated its concerns, and there was immediate controversy along two dimensions. One dimension was technical: What is the best course for evolving the IP protocol? How important or useful are the ideas in the OSI protocol stack? The other dimension
Crocker [Page 1]
RFC 1396 Poised Report January 1993
was political: Who makes decisions within the Internet community? Who chooses who makes these decisions?
As often happens during periods of conflict, communication suffered among the several parties. The June communication from the IAB was understood by many an IAB decision or, equivalently, a sense of the decisions the IAB would make in the future. In contrast, many if not all on the IAB felt that they were trying to open up the discussion and their memos were intended as advice and not decisions. From my perspective, this form of miscommunication was partly due to the extended size of the Internet technical community. When the community was much smaller, the IAB was in close contact with the day to day workings of the technical groups. With the creation of the IESG and area di...