A Mission Statement for the IETF (RFC3935)
Original Publication Date: 2004-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Oct-22
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This memo gives a mission statement for the IETF, tries to define the terms used in the statement sufficiently to make the mission statement understandable and useful, argues why the IETF needs a mission statement, and tries to capture some of the debate that led to this point.
Network Working Group H. Alvestrand
Request for Comments: 3935 Cisco Systems
BCP: 95 October 2004
Category: Best Current Practice
A Mission Statement for the IETF
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 (2004).
This memo gives a mission statement for the IETF, tries to define the
terms used in the statement sufficiently to make the mission
statement understandable and useful, argues why the IETF needs a
mission statement, and tries to capture some of the debate that led
to this point.
1. Mission Statement
The goal of the IETF is to make the Internet work better.
The mission of the IETF is to produce high quality, relevant
technical and engineering documents that influence the way people
design, use, and manage the Internet in such a way as to make the
Internet work better. These documents include protocol standards,
best current practices, and informational documents of various kinds.
The IETF will pursue this mission in adherence to the following
Open process - any interested person can participate in the work,
know what is being decided, and make his or her voice heard on the
issue. Part of this principle is our commitment to making our
documents, our WG mailing lists, our attendance lists, and our
meeting minutes publicly available on the Internet.
Technical competence - the issues on which the IETF produces its
documents are issues where the IETF has the competence needed to
speak to them, and that the IETF is willing to listen to
Alvestrand Best Current Practice [Page 1]
RFC 3935 IETF Mission Statement October 2004
technically competent input from any source. Technical competence
also means that we expect IETF output to be designed to sound
network engineering principles - this is also often referred to as
Volunteer Core - our participants and our leadership are people who
come to the IETF because they want to do work that furthers the
IETF's mission of "making the Internet work better".
Rough consensus and running code - We make standards based on the
combined engineering judgement of our participants and our real-