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RFC 4677


The Tao of IETF - A Novice's Guide to the Internet Engineering Task Force

Part 2 of 2, p. 22 to 50
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5.  Working Groups

   The vast majority of the IETF's work is done in many Working Groups;
   at the time of this writing, there are about 115 different WGs.  (The
   term "Working Group" is often seen capitalized, but probably not for
   any good reason.)  [BCP25], "IETF Working Group Guidelines and
   Procedures", is an excellent resource for anyone participating in WG

   A WG is really just a mailing list with a bit of adult supervision.
   You "join" the WG by subscribing to the mailing list; all mailing
   lists are open to anyone.  Anyone can post to a WG mailing list,
   although most lists require non-subscribers to have their postings
   moderated.  Each Working Group has one or two chairs.

   More important, each WG has a charter that the WG is supposed to
   follow.  The charter states the scope of discussion for the Working
   Group, as well as its goals.  The WG's mailing list and face-to-face
   meetings are supposed to focus on just what is in the charter and not
   to wander off on other "interesting" topics.  Of course, looking a
   bit outside the scope of the WG is occasionally useful, but the large
   majority of the discussion should be on the topics listed in the

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   charter.  In fact, some WG charters actually specify what the WG will
   not do, particularly if there were some attractive but nebulous
   topics brought up during the drafting of the charter.  The list of
   all WG charters makes interesting reading for folks who want to know
   what the different Working Groups are supposed to be doing.

5.1.  Working Group Chairs

   The role of the WG chairs is described in both [BCP11] and [BCP25].
   The IETF EDU team also offers special training for WG chairs on
   Sunday afternoons preceding IETF.

   As volunteer cat-herders, a chair's first job is to determine the WG
   consensus goals and milestones, keeping the charter up to date.
   Next, often with the help of WG secretaries or document editors, the
   chair must manage WG discussion, both on the list and by scheduling
   meetings when appropriate.  Sometimes discussions get stuck on
   contentious points and the chair may need to steer people toward
   productive interaction and then declare when rough consensus has been
   met and the discussion is over.  Sometimes chairs also manage
   interactions with non-WG participants or the IESG, especially when a
   WG document approaches publication.  Chairs have responsibility for
   the technical and non-technical quality of WG output.  As you can
   imagine given the mix of secretarial, interpersonal, and technical
   demands, some Working Group chairs are much better at their jobs than

   When a WG has fulfilled its charter, it is supposed to cease
   operations.  (Most WG mailing lists continue on after a WG is closed,
   still discussing the same topics as the Working Group did.)  In the
   IETF, it is a mark of success that the WG closes up because it
   fulfilled its charter.  This is one of the aspects of the IETF that
   newcomers who have experience with other standards bodies have a hard
   time understanding.  However, some WG chairs never manage to get
   their WG to finish, or keep adding new tasks to the charter so that
   the Working Group drags on for many years.  The output of these aging
   WGs is often not nearly as useful as the earlier products, and the
   messy results are sometimes attributed to what's called "degenerative
   Working Group syndrome".

   There is an official distinction between WG drafts and independent
   drafts, but in practice, sometimes there is not much procedural
   difference.  For example, many WG mailing lists also discuss
   independent drafts (at the discretion of the WG chair).  Procedures
   for Internet Drafts are covered in much more detail later in this

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   WG chairs are strongly advised to go to the WG leadership training
   that usually happens on the Sunday preceding the IETF meeting.  There
   is also usually a WG chairs lunch mid-week during the meeting where
   chair-specific topics are presented and discussed.  If you're
   interested in what they hear there, take a look at the slides at

5.2.  Getting Things Done in a Working Group

   One fact that confuses many novices is that the face-to-face WG
   meetings are much less important in the IETF than they are in most
   other organizations.  Any decision made at a face-to-face meeting
   must also gain consensus on the WG mailing list.  There are numerous
   examples of important decisions made in WG meetings that are later
   overturned on the mailing list, often because someone who couldn't
   attend the meeting pointed out a serious flaw in the logic used to
   come to the decision.  Finally, WG meetings aren't "drafting
   sessions", as they are in some other standards bodies: in the IETF,
   drafting is done elsewhere.

   Another aspect of Working Groups that confounds many people is the
   fact that there is no formal voting.  The general rule on disputed
   topics is that the Working Group has to come to "rough consensus",
   meaning that a very large majority of those who care must agree.  The
   exact method of determining rough consensus varies from Working Group
   to Working Group.  Sometimes consensus is determined by "humming" --
   if you agree with a proposal, you hum when prompted by the chair; if
   you disagree, you keep your silence.  Newcomers find it quite
   peculiar, but it works.  It is up to the chair to decide when the
   Working Group has reached rough consensus.

   The lack of formal voting has caused some very long delays for some
   proposals, but most IETF participants who have witnessed rough
   consensus after acrimonious debates feel that the delays often result
   in better protocols.  (And, if you think about it, how could you have
   "voting" in a group that anyone can join, and when it's impossible to
   count the participants?)  Rough consensus has been defined in many
   ways; a simple version is that it means that strongly held objections
   must be debated until most people are satisfied that these objections
   are wrong.

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   Some Working Groups have complex documents or a complex set of
   documents (or even both).  Shaking all the bugs out of one or more
   complex documents is a daunting task.  In order to help relieve this
   problem, some Working Groups use "issue trackers", which are online
   lists of the open issues with the documents, the status of the issue,
   proposed fixes, and so on.  Using an issue tracker not only helps the
   WG not to forget to do something important, it helps when someone
   asks a question later about why something was done in a particular

   Another method that some Working Groups adopt is to have a Working
   Group "secretary" to handle the juggling of the documents and the
   changes.  The secretary can run the issue tracker if there is one, or
   can simply be in charge of watching that all of the decisions that
   are made on the mailing list are reflected in newer versions of the

   One thing you might find helpful, and possibly even entertaining,
   during Working Group sessions is to follow the running commentary on
   the Jabber room associated with that Working Group.  The running
   commentary is often used as the basis for the minutes of the meeting,
   but it can also include jokes, sighs, and other extraneous chatter.
   Jabber is a free, streaming XML technology mainly used for instant
   messaging.  You can find pointers to Jabber clients for many
   platforms at  The Jabber chatrooms have the
   name of the Working Group followed by "".  Those
   rooms are, in fact, available year-round, not just during IETF
   meetings, and some are used by active Working Group participants
   during protocol development.

5.3.  Preparing for Working Group Meetings

   The most important thing that everyone (newcomers and seasoned
   experts) should do before coming to a face-to-face meeting is to read
   the Internet Drafts and RFCs ahead of time.  WG meetings are
   explicitly not for education: they are for developing the group's
   documents.  Even if you do not plan to say anything in the meeting,
   you should read the group's documents before attending so you can
   understand what is being said.

   It's up to the WG chair to set the meeting agenda, usually a few
   weeks in advance.  If you want something discussed at the meeting, be
   sure to let the chair know about it.  The agendas for all the WG
   meetings are available in advance (see, where 'xx' is the
   meeting number), but many WG chairs are lax (if not totally
   negligent) about turning them in.

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   The Secretariat only schedules WG meetings a few weeks in advance,
   and the schedule often changes as little as a week before the first
   day.  If you are only coming for one WG meeting, you may have a hard
   time booking your flight with such little notice, particularly if the
   Working Group's meeting changes schedule.  Be sure to keep track of
   the current agenda so you can schedule flights and hotels.  But, when
   it comes down to it, you probably shouldn't be coming for just one WG
   meeting.  It's likely that your knowledge could be valuable in a few
   WGs, assuming that you've read the drafts and RFCs for those groups.

   If you are on the agenda at a face-to-face meeting, you should
   probably come with a few slides prepared.  But don't come with a
   tutorial; people are supposed to read the drafts in advance.
   Projectors for laptop-based presentations are available in all the
   meeting rooms.

   And here's a tip for your slides in WG or plenary presentations:
   don't put your company's logo on every one, even though that is a
   common practice outside the IETF.  The IETF frowns on this kind of
   corporate advertising (except for the meeting sponsor in the plenary
   presentation), and most presenters don't even put their logo on their
   opening slide.  The IETF is about technical content, not company
   boosterism.  Slides are often plain black and white for legibility,
   with color used only when it really adds clarity.  Again, the content
   is the most important part of the slides, not how it's presented.

5.4.  Working Group Mailing Lists

   As we mentioned earlier, the IETF announcement and discussion mailing
   lists are the central mailing lists for IETF activities.  However,
   there are many other mailing lists related to IETF work.  For
   example, every Working Group has its own discussion list.  In
   addition, there are some long-term technical debates that have been
   moved off of the IETF list onto lists created specifically for those
   topics.  It is highly recommended that you follow the discussions on
   the mailing lists of the Working Groups that you wish to attend.  The
   more work that is done on the mailing lists, the less work that will
   need to be done at the meeting, leaving time for cross pollination
   (i.e., attending Working Groups outside one's primary area of
   interest in order to broaden one's perspective).

   The mailing lists also provide a forum for those who wish to follow,
   or contribute to, the Working Groups' efforts, but can't attend the
   IETF meetings.  That's why IETF procedures require all decisions to
   be confirmed "on the list" and you will often hear a WG chair say,
   "Let's take it to the list" to close a discussion.

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   Many IETF discussion lists use either mailman or another list
   manager, Majordomo.  They usually have a "-request" address that
   handles the administrative details of joining and leaving the list.
   (See Section 3.3 for more information on mailman.)  It is generally
   frowned upon when such administrivia appears on the discussion
   mailing list.

   Most IETF discussion lists are archived.  That is, all of the
   messages sent to the list are automatically stored on a host for
   anonymous HTTP or FTP access.  Many such archives are listed online
   at or they are in a web-based
   archive.  If you don't find the list you're looking for, send a
   message to the list's "-request" address (not to the list itself!).
   The Working Group charter listings at are a useful source;
   note that the page has links to old, concluded WGs.

   Some WG lists apply size limits on messages, particularly to avoid
   large documents or presentations landing in everyone's mailbox.  It
   is well worth remembering that participants do not all have broadband
   connections (and even those with broadband connections sometimes get
   their mail on slow connections when they travel), so shorter messages
   are greatly appreciated.  Documents can be posted as Internet Drafts;
   presentation material can be posted to a web site controlled by the
   sender or sent personally to people who ask for it.  Some WGs set up
   special sites to hold these large documents so that senders can post
   there first, then just send to the list the URL of the document.

5.5.  Interim Working Group Meetings

   Working Groups sometimes hold interim meetings between IETFs.
   Interim meetings aren't a substitute for IETF meetings, however -- a
   group can't decide to skip a meeting in a location they're not fond
   of and meet in Cancun (or even someplace mundane) three weeks later,
   for example.  Interim meetings require AD approval and need to be
   announced at least one month in advance.  Location and timing need to
   allow fair access for all participants.  Like regular IETF meetings,
   someone needs to take notes and send them to, and the group needs to take attendance.
   Decisions tentatively made during an interim WG meeting still must be
   ratified on the mailing list.

6.  BOFs

   In order to form a Working Group, you need a charter and someone who
   is able to be chair.  In order to get those things, you need to get
   people interested so that they can help focus the charter and
   convince an Area Director that the project is worthwhile.  A face-

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   to-face meeting is useful for this.  In fact, very few WGs get
   started by an Area Director; most start after a face-to-face BOF
   because attendees have expressed interest in the topic.

   A Birds of a Feather (BOF) meeting has to be approved by the Area
   Director in the relevant area before it can be scheduled.  If you
   think you really need a new WG, approach an AD informally with your
   proposal and see what he or she thinks.  The next step is to request
   a meeting slot at the next face-to-face meeting.  Of course, you
   don't need to wait for that meeting to get some work done, such as
   setting up a mailing list and starting to discuss a charter.

   BOF meetings have a very different tone than do WG meetings.  The
   purpose of a BOF is to make sure that a good charter with good
   milestones can be created and that there are enough people willing to
   do the work needed in order to create standards.  Some BOFs have
   Internet Drafts already in process, whereas others start from

   An advantage of having a draft before the BOF is to help focus the
   discussion.  On the other hand, having a draft might tend to limit
   what the other folks in the BOF want to do in the charter.  It's
   important to remember that most BOFs are held in order to get support
   for an eventual Working Group, not to get support for a particular

   Many BOFs don't turn into WGs for a variety of reasons.  A common
   problem is that not enough people can agree on a focus for the work.
   Another typical reason is that the work wouldn't end up being a
   standard -- if, for example, the document authors don't really want
   to relinquish change control to a WG.  (We'll discuss change control
   later in this document.)  Only two meetings of a BOF can be scheduled
   on a particular subject; either a WG has to form or the topic should
   be dropped.

7.  New to the IETF and Coming to a Meeting? STOP HERE! (Temporarily)

   If you're new to the IETF and this is the only reference you plan to
   read before coming to the meeting, stop here -- at least temporarily.
   Then, on your flight home, read the rest of the Tao.  By that time
   you'll be ready to get actively involved in the Working Groups that
   interested you at the meeting, and the Tao will get you started on
   your way.

   If you're planning to participate in the IETF remotely, through
   reading email lists and the proceedings, read on!

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8.  RFCs and Internet Drafts

   If you're a new IETF participant and are looking for a particular RFC
   or Internet Draft, go to the RFC Editor's web pages, http://www.rfc-  That site also has links to other RFC
   collections, many with search capabilities.  If you know the number
   of the RFC you're looking for, go to the IETF RFC pages,  For Internet Drafts, the best resource
   is the IETF web site,, where you can
   search by title and keyword.

8.1.  Getting an RFC Published

   One of the most common questions seasoned IETFers hear from newcomers
   is, "How do I get an IETF standard published?"  A much better
   question is, "Should I write an IETF standard?" since the answer is
   not always "yes."  If you do decide to try to write a document that
   becomes an IETF standard, be warned that the overall process may be
   arduous, even if the individual steps are fairly straightforward.
   Lots of people get through the process unscathed, though, and there's
   plenty of written guidance that helps authors emerge with their ego
   more or less intact.

   Every IETF standard is published as an RFC (a "Request for Comments,"
   but everyone just calls them RFCs), and every RFC starts out as an
   Internet Draft (often called an "I-D").  The basic steps for getting
   something published as an IETF standard are as follows:

   1.  Publish the document as an Internet Draft.

   2.  Receive comments on the draft.

   3.  Edit your draft based on the comments.

   4.  Repeat steps 1 through 3 a few times.

   5.  Ask an Area Director to take the draft to the IESG (if it's an
       individual submission).  If the draft is an official Working
       Group product, the WG chair asks the AD to take it to the IESG.

   6.  Make any changes deemed necessary by the IESG (this might include
       giving up on becoming a standard).

   7.  Wait for the document to be published by the RFC Editor.

   A much more complete explanation of these steps is contained in
   [BCP9], "The Internet Standards Process".  Those who write drafts
   that they hope will become IETF standards must read BCP 9 so that

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   they can follow the path of their document through the process.  BCP
   9 (and various other documents that update it) goes into great detail
   on a topic that is very often misunderstood, even by seasoned IETF
   participants: different types of RFCs go through different processes
   and have different rankings.  There are six kinds of RFCs:

   o  Proposed standards

   o  Draft standards

   o  Internet standards (sometimes called "full standards")

   o  Informational documents

   o  Experimental protocols

   o  Historic documents

   Only the first three (proposed, draft, and full) are standards within
   the IETF.  A good summary of this can be found in the aptly titled
   [RFC1796], "Not All RFCs Are Standards".

   There are also three sub-series of RFCs, known as FYIs, BCPs, and
   STDs.  The For Your Information RFC sub-series was created to
   document overviews and topics that are introductory or that appeal to
   a broad audience; however, that series has not been added to in a
   long time.  Best Current Practice documents describe the application
   of various technologies in the Internet.  The STD RFC sub-series was
   created to identify RFCs that do in fact specify Internet standards.
   Some STDs are actually sets of more than one RFC, and the "standard"
   designation applies to the whole set of documents.

8.2.  Letting Go Gracefully

   The biggest reason some people do not want their documents put on the
   IETF standards track is that they must give up change control of the
   protocol.  That is, as soon as you propose that your protocol become
   an IETF standard, you must fully relinquish control of the protocol.
   If there is general agreement, parts of the protocol can be
   completely changed, whole sections can be ripped out, new things can
   be added, and the name can be changed.

   Some authors find it very hard to give up control of their pet
   protocol.  If you are one of those people, don't even think about
   trying to get your protocol to become an IETF standard.  On the other
   hand, if your goal is the best standard possible with the widest
   implementation, then you might find the IETF process to your liking.

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   Incidentally, the change control on Internet standards doesn't end
   when the protocol is put on the standards track.  The protocol itself
   can be changed later for a number of reasons, the most common of
   which is that implementors discover a problem as they implement the
   standard.  These later changes are also under the control of the
   IETF, not the editors of the standards document.

   IETF standards exist so that people will use them to write Internet
   programs that interoperate.  They don't exist to document the
   (possibly wonderful) ideas of their authors, nor do they exist so
   that a company can say, "We have an IETF standard".  If a standards-
   track RFC only has one implementation (whereas two are required for
   it to advance on the standards track), it was probably a mistake to
   put it on the standards track in the first place.

8.3.  Internet Drafts

   First things first.  Every document that ends up in the RFC
   repository starts life as an Internet Draft.  Internet Drafts are
   tentative documents -- they're meant for readers to comment on, so
   authors can mull over those comments and decide which ones to
   incorporate in the draft.  In order to remind folks of their
   tentativeness, Internet Drafts are automatically removed from the
   online directories after six months.  They are most definitely not
   standards or even specifications.  As [BCP9] says:

   "An Internet Draft is NOT a means of 'publishing' a specification;
   specifications are published through the RFC mechanism....  Internet
   Drafts have no formal status, and are subject to change or removal at
   any time.  Under no circumstances should an Internet Draft be
   referenced by any paper, report, or Request-for-Proposal, nor should
   a vendor claim compliance with an Internet Draft".

   You can always tell a person who doesn't understand the IETF (or is
   intentionally trying to fool people) when he or she brags about
   having published an Internet Draft; it takes no significant effort.

   When you submit an Internet Draft, you give some publication rights
   to the IETF.  This is so that your Internet Draft is freely available
   to everyone who wants to read and comment on it.  The rights you do
   and don't give to the IETF are described in [BCP78], "IETF Rights in

   There is a very useful checking tool at  Using this tool
   before you turn in an Internet Draft will help prevent the draft from
   being rejected due to errors in form and formatting.

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   An I-D should have approximately the same format as an RFC.  Contrary
   to many people's beliefs, an I-D does not need to look exactly like
   an RFC, but if you can use the same formatting procedures used by the
   RFC Editor when you create your I-Ds, it will simplify the RFC
   Editor's work when your draft is published as an RFC.  [RFC2223],
   "Instructions to RFC Authors", describes the nroff formatting used by
   the RFC Editor.  There is also a tool called "xml2rfc", available
   from, that takes XML-formatted text and
   turns it into a valid Internet Draft.

   An Internet Draft can be either a Working Group draft or an
   individual submission.  Working Group drafts are usually reviewed by
   the Working Group before being accepted as a WG item, although the
   chairs have the final say.

   If you're interested in checking the status of a particular draft, or
   can't remember its exact name, or want to find out which drafts a WG
   is working on, two handy tools are available.  The "Internet Drafts
   Database Interface", at, lets you search for
   a draft by author, Working Group, date, or filename.  The "I-D
   Tracker", at, is
   especially useful for authors who want to track the progress of their
   draft as it makes its way through the publication process.

   There are some informal rules for Internet Draft naming that have
   evolved over the years.  Internet Drafts that revise existing RFCs
   often have draft names with "bis" in them, meaning "again" or
   "twice"; for example, a draft might be called "draft-someone-

8.3.1.  Recommended Reading for Writers

   Before you create the first draft of your Internet Draft, you should
   read four documents:

   o  More important than just explaining formatting, [RFC2223] also
      explains what needs to be in an Internet Draft before it can
      become an RFC.  This document describes all the sections and
      notices that will need to be in your document, and it's good to
      have them there from the beginning so that readers aren't
      surprised when you put them in later versions.

   o  [BCP22], "Guide for Internet Standards Writers", provides tips
      that will help you write a standard that leads to
      interoperability.  For instance, it explains how to choose the
      right number of protocol options, how to respond to out-of-spec
      behavior, and how to show state diagrams.

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   o  The online "Guidelines to Authors of Internet Drafts",, has up-to-date
      information about the process for turning in Internet Drafts, as
      well as the most current boilerplate information that has to be
      included in each Internet Draft.

   o  When you think you are finished with the draft process and are
      ready to request that the draft become an RFC, you should
      definitely read "Checklist for Internet Drafts (I-Ds) Submitted
      for RFC Publication",, a
      list of common issues that have been known to stop documents in
      the IESG.  In fact, you should probably read that document well
      before you are finished, so that you don't have to make a bunch of
      last-minute changes.

   Also, you should visit the IETF Tools web pages,, where you'll find pointers to other tools that
   will automate some of your work for the IETF.

8.3.2.  Filenames and Other Matters

   When you're ready to turn in your Internet Draft, send it to the
   Internet Drafts administrator at
   There is a real person at the other end of this mail address, whose
   job is to make sure you've included the minimum items you need for
   the Internet Draft to be published.  When you submit the first
   version of the draft, you also tell the draft administrator your
   proposed filename for the draft.  If the draft is an official Working
   Group product, the name will start with "draft-ietf-" followed by the
   designation of the WG, followed by a descriptive word or two,
   followed by "00.txt".

   For example, a draft in the S/MIME WG about creating keys might be
   named "draft-ietf-smime-keying-00.txt".  If it's not the product of a
   Working Group, the name will start with "draft-" and the last name of
   one of the authors followed by a descriptive word or two, followed by
   "00.txt".  For example, a draft that someone named Smith wrote might
   be named "draft-smith-keying-00.txt".  If a draft is an individual
   submission but relates to a particular Working Group, authors
   sometimes follow their name with the name of the Working Group, such
   as "draft-smith-smime-keying-00.txt".  You are welcome to suggest
   names; however, it is up to the Internet Drafts administrator (and,
   if it is an official WG draft, the WG chair) to come up with the
   filename.  If you follow the naming guidelines given at, chances are quite good
   that your suggested filename will be fine.

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   After the first edition of a draft, the number in the filename is
   incremented; for instance, the second edition of the S/MIME draft
   named above would be "draft-ietf-smime-keying-01.txt".  Note that
   there are cases where the filename changes after one or more
   versions, such as when a personal effort is pulled into a Working
   Group; when a draft has its filename changed, the number reverts to
   -00.  Be sure to let the Internet Drafts administrator know the
   previous name of the draft when such a name change occurs so that the
   databases can be kept accurate.

8.4.  Standards-Track RFCs

   The procedure for creating and advancing a standard is described in
   [BCP9].  After an Internet Draft has been sufficiently discussed and
   there is rough consensus that what it says would be a useful
   standard, it is presented to the IESG for consideration.  If the
   draft is an official WG draft, the WG chair sends it to the
   appropriate Area Director after it has gone through Working Group
   last call.  If the draft is an individual submission, the draft's
   author or editor submits it to the appropriate Area Director.  BCP 9
   also describes the appeals process for people who feel that a Working
   Group chair, an AD, or the IESG has made the wrong decision in
   considering the creation or advancement of a standard.

   After the I-D is submitted to the IESG, the IESG announces an IETF-
   wide last call.  This helps get the attention of people who weren't
   following the progress of the draft, and it can sometimes cause
   further changes to the draft.  It is also a time when people in the
   WG who feel that they weren't heard can make their comments to
   everyone.  The IETF last call is two weeks for drafts coming from WGs
   and four weeks for individual submissions.

   If the IESG approves the draft to become an Internet standard, they
   ask the RFC Editor to publish it as a Proposed standard.  After it
   has been a Proposed standard for at least six months, the RFC's
   author (or the appropriate WG chair) can ask for it to become a Draft
   standard.  Before that happens, however, someone needs to convince
   the appropriate Area Director that there are at least two
   independent, interoperable implementations of each part of the
   standard.  This is a good test of the usefulness of the standard as a
   whole, as well as an excellent way to check if the standard was
   really readable.

   A few things typically happen at this point.  First, it's common to
   find that some of the specifications in the standard need to be
   reworded because one implementor thought they meant one thing whereas
   another implementor thought they meant something else.  Another
   common occurrence is that none of the implementations actually tried

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   to implement a few of the features of the standard; these features
   get removed not just because no one tested them but also because they
   weren't needed.

   Don't be surprised if a particular standard doesn't progress from
   Proposed to Draft.  In fact, most of the standards in common use are
   Proposed standards and never move forward.  This may be because no
   one took the time to try to get them to Draft, or some of the
   normative references in the standard are still at Proposed standard,
   or it may be that everyone found more important things to do.

   A few years after a document has been a Draft standard, it can become
   an Internet standard, also known as "full standard" (it can happen in
   as little as four months, but this is rare).  This doesn't happen
   often, and it is usually reserved for protocols that are absolutely
   required for the Internet to function.  The IESG goes over the
   document with a fine-tooth comb and looks for evidence of widespread
   deployment before making a Draft standard an Internet standard.

8.4.1.  Telling It Like It Is -- Using MUST and SHOULD and MAY

   Writing specifications that get implemented the way you want is a bit
   of an art.  You can keep the specification very short, with just a
   list of requirements, but that tends to cause implementors to take
   too much leeway.  If you instead make the specification very wordy
   with lots of suggestions, implementors tend to miss the requirements
   (and often disagree with your suggestions anyway).  An optimal
   specification is somewhere in between.

   One way to make it more likely that developers will create
   interoperable implementations of standards is to be clear about
   what's being mandated in a specification.  Early RFCs used all kinds
   of expressions to explain what was needed, so implementors didn't
   always know which parts were suggestions and which were requirements.
   As a result, standards writers in the IETF generally agreed to limit
   their wording to a few specific words with a few specific meanings.

   [STD3], "Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Application and Support",
   written way back in 1989, had a short list of words that had appeared
   to be useful, namely, "must", "should", and "may".  These definitions
   were updated and further refined in [BCP14], "Key words for use in
   RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", which is widely referenced in
   current Internet standards.  BCP 14 also specifically defines "must
   not" and "should not", and it lists a few synonyms for the words

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   In a standard, in order to make it clear that you're using the
   definitions from BCP 14, you should do two things.  First, refer to
   BCP 14 (although most people refer to it as RFC 2119, because that's
   what BCP 14 tells you to do), so that the reader knows how you're
   defining your words.  Second, you should point out which instances of
   the words you are using come from BCP 14.  The accepted practice for
   this is to capitalize the words.  That is why you see "MUST" and
   "SHOULD" capitalized in IETF standards.

   BCP 14 is a short document, and it should be read by everyone who is
   reading or writing IETF standards.  Although the definitions of
   "must" and "must not" are fairly clear, the definitions of "should"
   and "should not" cause a great deal of discussion in many WGs.  When
   reviewing an Internet Draft, the question is often raised, "Should
   that sentence have a MUST or a SHOULD in it?"  This is, indeed, a
   very good question, because specifications shouldn't have gratuitous
   MUSTs, but also should not have SHOULDs where a MUST is needed for
   interoperability.  This goes to the crux of the question of over-
   specifying and under-specifying requirements in standards.

8.4.2.  Normative References in Standards

   One aspect of writing IETF standards that trips up many novices (and
   quite a few long-time IETF folks) is the rule about how to make
   "normative references" to non-IETF documents or to other RFCs in a
   standard.  A normative reference is a reference to a document that
   must be followed in order to implement the standard.  A non-normative
   reference (sometimes called an "informative reference") is one that
   is helpful to an implementor but is not needed.

   An IETF standard may make a normative reference to any other
   standards-track RFC that is at the same standards level or higher, or
   to any "open standard" that has been developed outside the IETF.  The
   "same level or higher" rule means that before a standard can move
   from Proposed to Draft, all of the RFCs for which there is a
   normative reference must also be at Draft or Internet standard.  This
   rule gives implementors assurance that everything in a Draft standard
   or Internet standard is quite stable, even the things referenced
   outside the standard.  This can also delay the publication of the
   Draft or Internet standard by many months (sometimes even years)
   while the other documents catch up.

   There is no hard-and-fast rule about what is an "open standard", but
   generally this means a stable standard that anyone can get a copy of
   (although they might have to pay for it) and that was made by a
   generally recognized standards group.  If the external standard
   changes, you have to reference the particular instantiation of that
   standard in your specification, as with a designation of the date of

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   the standard.  Some external standards bodies don't make old
   standards available, which is a problem for IETF standards that need
   to be used in the future.  When in doubt, a draft author should ask
   the WG chair or appropriate Area Director if a particular external
   standard can be used in an IETF standard.

8.4.3.  IANA Considerations

   More and more IETF standards require the registration of various
   protocol parameters, such as named options in the protocol.  As we
   noted in Section 3.2.4, the main registry for all IETF standards has
   long been IANA.  Because of the large and diverse kinds of registries
   that standards require, IANA needs to have specific information about
   how to register parameters, what not to register, who (if anyone)
   will decide what is to be registered, and so on.

   Anyone writing an Internet standard that may need a new IANA registry
   or new values in a current IANA registry needs to read [BCP26],
   "Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs",
   which describes how RFC authors should properly ask for IANA to start
   or take over a registry.  IANA also maintains registries that were
   started long before BCP 26 was produced.

8.4.4.  Security Considerations

   One thing that's required in every RFC and Internet Draft is a
   "Security Considerations" section.  This section should describe any
   known vulnerabilities of the protocol, possible threats, and
   mechanisms or strategies to address them.  Don't gloss over this
   section -- in particular, don't say, "Here's our protocol, if you
   want security, just use IPsec".  This won't do at all, because it
   doesn't answer the question of how IPsec interacts with your
   protocol, and vice versa.  Be sure to check with your Working Group
   chair if you're not sure how to handle this section in your draft.
   See [BCP72], "Guidelines for Writing RFC Text on Security
   Considerations", for more information on writing good security
   considerations sections.

8.4.5.  Patents in IETF Standards

   The problems of intellectual property have cropped up more and more
   often in the past few years, particularly with respect to patents.
   The goal of the IETF is to have its standards widely used and
   validated in the marketplace.  If creating a product that uses a
   standard requires getting a license for a patent, people are less
   likely to implement the standard.  Not surprisingly, then, the
   general rule has been "use good non-patented technology where

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   Of course, this isn't always possible.  Sometimes patents appear
   after a standard has been established.  Sometimes there's a patent on
   something that is so valuable that there isn't a non-patented
   equivalent.  Sometimes the patent holder is generous and promises to
   give all implementors of a standard a royalty-free license to the
   patent, thereby making it almost as easy to implement as it would
   have been if no patent existed.

   The IETF's methods for dealing with patents in standards are a
   subject of much debate.  The official rules for all intellectual
   property rights (IRP) in IETF documents (not just patents) are
   covered in [BCP78] and [BCP79], "Intellectual Property Rights in IETF
   Technology".  Everyone who participates in IETF Working Groups will
   probably find these documents interesting because they lay out the
   rules that everyone agrees to follow.

   Patent holders who freely allow their patents to be used by people
   implementing IETF standards often get a great deal of goodwill from
   the folks in the IETF.  Such generosity is more common than you might
   think.  For example, RFC 1822 is a license from IBM for one of its
   security patents, and the security community has responded very
   favorably to IBM for this (whereas a number of other companies have
   made themselves pariahs for their intractability on their security

   If you are writing an Internet Draft and you know of a patent that
   applies to the technology you're writing about, don't list the patent
   in the document.  Instead, consult the IETF IPR Disclosure Page
   linked off the main IETF web site to determine how to proceed.
   Intellectual property rights aren't mentioned in RFCs because RFCs
   never change after they are published, but knowledge of IPR can
   change at any time.  Therefore, an IPR list in an RFC could be
   incomplete and mislead the reader.  [BCP9] provides specific text
   that should be added to RFCs where the author knows of IPR issues.

8.5.  Informational and Experimental RFCs

   As we noted earlier, not all RFCs are standards.  In fact, plenty of
   important RFCs are not on the standards track at all.  Currently,
   there are two designations for RFCs that are not meant to be
   standards: Informational, like the Tao, and Experimental.  (There is
   actually a third designation, Historic, but that is reserved for
   documents that were on the standards track and have been removed due
   to lack of current use, or that more recent thinking indicates the
   technology is actually harmful to the Internet.)

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   The role of Informational RFCs is often debated in the IETF.  Many
   people like having them, particularly for specifications that were
   created outside the IETF but are referenced by IETF documents.  They
   are also useful for specifications that are the precursors for work
   being done by IETF Working Groups.  On the other hand, some people
   refer to Informational RFCs as "standards" even though the RFCs are
   not standards, usually to fool the gullible public about something
   that the person is selling or supporting.  When this happens, the
   debate about Informational RFCs is renewed.

   Experimental RFCs are for specifications that may be interesting, but
   for which it is unclear if there will be much interest in
   implementing them, or whether they will work once deployed.  That is,
   a specification might solve a problem, but if it is not clear that
   many people think that the problem is important, or think that they
   will bother fixing the problem with the specification, the
   specification might be labeled an Experimental RFC.  If, later, the
   specification becomes popular (or proves that it works well), it can
   be re-issued as a standards-track RFC.  Experimental RFCs are also
   used to get people to experiment with a technology that looks like it
   might be standards-track material, but for which there are still
   unanswered questions.

   The IESG has created guidelines on how it chooses between
   Informational and Experimental status:  If you are creating a
   document that you think might become an Experimental RFC, knowing the
   current thinking will help you justify your proposed choice.

9.  How to Contribute to the IETF

9.1.  What You Can Do

   *Read* -- Review the Internet Drafts in your area of expertise and
   comment on them in the Working Groups.  Participate in the discussion
   in a friendly, helpful fashion, with the goal being the best Internet
   standards possible.  Listen much more than you speak.  If you
   disagree, debate the technical issues: never attack the people.

   *Implement* -- Write programs that use the current Internet
   standards.  The standards aren't worth much unless they are available
   to Internet users.  Implement even the "minor" standards, since they
   will become less minor if they appear in more software.  Report any
   problems you find with the standards to the appropriate Working Group
   so that the standard can be clarified in later revisions.  One of the
   oft-quoted tenets of the IETF is "running code wins", so you can help
   support the standards you want to become more widespread by creating
   more running code.

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   *Write* -- Edit or co-author Internet Drafts in your area of
   expertise.  Do this for the benefit of the Internet community, not to
   get your name (or, even worse, your company's name) on a document.
   Draft authors are subject to all kinds of technical (and sometimes
   personal) criticism; receive it with equanimity and use it to improve
   your draft in order to produce the best and most interoperable

9.2.  What Your Company Can Do

   *Share* -- Avoid proprietary standards.  If you are an implementor,
   exhibit a strong preference for IETF standards.  If the IETF
   standards aren't as good as the proprietary standards, work to make
   the IETF standards better.  If you're a purchaser, avoid products
   that use proprietary standards that compete with the open standards
   of the IETF and tell the companies you buy from that you are doing

   *Open Up* -- If your company controls a patent that is used in an
   IETF standard, convince the company to make the patent available at
   no cost to everyone who is implementing the standard.  In the past
   few years, patents have caused a lot of serious problems for Internet
   standards because they prevent some companies from being able to
   freely implement the standards.  Fortunately, many companies have
   generously offered unlimited licenses for particular patents in order
   to help the IETF standards flourish.  These companies are usually
   rewarded with positive publicity for the fact that they are not as
   greedy or short-sighted as other patent-holders.

   *Join* -- Become a member of ISOC.  More important, urge any company
   that has benefited from the Internet to become a corporate member of
   ISOC, since this has the greatest financial benefit for the group.
   It will, of course, also benefit the Internet as a whole.

10.  IETF and the Outside World

10.1.  IETF and Other Standards Groups

   As much as many IETF participants would like to think otherwise, the
   IETF does not exist in a standards vacuum.  There are many (perhaps
   too many) other standards organizations whose decisions affect the
   Internet.  There are also a fair number of standards bodies that
   ignored the Internet for a long time and now want to get a piece of
   the action.

   In general, the IETF tries to have cordial relationships with other
   significant standards bodies.  This isn't always easy, since many
   other bodies have very different structures than the IETF does, and

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   the IETF is mostly run by volunteers who would probably prefer to
   write standards rather than meet with representatives from other
   bodies.  Even so, some other standards bodies make a great effort to
   interact well with the IETF despite the obvious cultural differences.

   At the time of this writing, the IETF has some liaisons with large
   standards bodies, including the ITU (International Telecommunication
   Union), the W3C, the Unicode Consortium, and ISO/IEC JTC1 (Joint
   Technical Committee of the International Organization for
   Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission).  As
   stated in the IAB Charter [BCP39], "Liaisons are kept as informal as
   possible and must be of demonstrable value in improving the quality
   of IETF specifications".  In practice, the IETF prefers liaisons to
   take place directly at Working Group level, with formal relationships
   and liaison documents in a backup role.

   Some of these liaison tasks fall to the IESG, whereas others fall to
   the IAB.  Detail-oriented readers will learn much about the formal
   methods for dealing with other standards bodies in [BCP102], "IAB
   Processes for Management of IETF Liaison Relationships", and
   [BCP103], "Procedures for Handling Liaison Statements to and from the
   IETF".  The best place to check to see whether the IETF has any
   formal liaison at all is the list of IETF liaisons,  The list shows that there are
   many different liaisons to ISO/IEC JTC1 subcommittees.

10.2.  Press Coverage of the IETF

   Given that the IETF is one of the best-known bodies that is helping
   move the Internet forward, it's natural for the computer press (and
   even the trade press) to want to cover its actions.  In recent years,
   a small number of magazines have assigned reporters and editors to
   cover the IETF in depth over a long period of time.  These reporters
   have ample scars from articles that they got wrong, incorrect
   statements about the status of Internet Drafts, quotes from people
   who are unrelated to the IETF work, and so on.

   Major press errors fall into two categories: saying that the IETF is
   considering something when in fact there is just an Internet Draft in
   a Working Group, and saying that the IETF approved something when all
   that happened was that an Informational RFC was published.  In both
   cases, the press is not fully to blame for the problem, since they
   are usually alerted to the story by a company trying to get publicity
   for a protocol that they developed or at least support.  Of course, a
   bit of research by the reporters would probably get them in contact
   with someone who could straighten them out, such as a WG chair or an
   Area Director.  The default press contact for the IETF is the IAD,
   who can be reached at

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   The fact that those reporters who've gotten it wrong once still come
   back to IETF meetings shows that it is possible to get it right
   eventually.  However, IETF meetings are definitely not for reporters
   who are naive about the IETF process (although if you are a reporter
   the fact that you are reading this document is a very good sign!).
   Furthermore, if you think that you'll get a hot story from attending
   an IETF meeting, you are likely to be disappointed.

   Considering all this, it's not surprising that some IETFers would
   prefer to have the press stay as far away from meetings as possible.
   Having a bit of press publicity for protocols that are almost near
   completion and will become significant in the industry in the next
   year can be a good thing.  However, it is the rare reporter who can
   resist over-hyping a nascent protocol as the next savior for the
   Internet.  Such stories do much more harm than good, both for the
   readers of the article and for the IETF.

   The main reason why a reporter might want to attend an IETF meeting
   is not to cover hot technologies (since that can be done in the
   comfort of your office by reading the mailing lists) but to meet
   people face-to-face.  Unfortunately, the most interesting people are
   the ones who are also the busiest during the IETF meeting, and some
   folks have a tendency to run away when they see a press badge.
   However, IETF meetings are excellent places to meet and speak with
   document authors and Working Group chairs; this can be quite valuable
   for reporters who are covering the progress of protocols.

   Reporters who want to find out about "what the IETF is doing" on a
   particular topic would be well-advised to talk to more than one
   person who is active on that topic in the IETF, and should probably
   try to talk to the WG chair in any case.  It's impossible to
   determine what will happen with a draft by looking at the draft or
   talking to the draft's author.  Fortunately, all WGs have archives
   that a reporter can look through for recent indications about what
   the progress of a draft is; unfortunately, few reporters have the
   time or inclination to do this kind of research.  Because the IETF
   doesn't have a press liaison, magazines or newspapers that run a
   story with errors won't hear directly from the IETF and therefore
   often won't know what they did wrong, so they might easily do it
   again later.

11.  Security Considerations

   Section 8.4.4 explains why each RFC is required to have a Security
   Considerations section and gives some idea of what it should and
   should not contain.  Other than that information, this document does
   not touch on Internet security.

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Appendix A.  Related Information

A.1.  Why "the Tao"?

   Pronounced "dow", Tao is the basic principle behind the teachings of
   Lao-tse, a Chinese master.  Its familiar symbol is the black-and-
   white yin-yang circle.  Taoism conceives the universe as a single
   organism, and human beings as interdependent parts of a cosmic whole.
   Tao is sometimes translated "the way", but according to Taoist
   philosophy the true meaning of the word cannot be expressed in words.

A.2.  Useful Email Addresses

   Some useful email addresses are listed here.  These addresses may
   change from time to time, and it's a good idea to check the IETF web
   pages for the correct address before sending your mail.

   Address                    Description
   -----------------------------------------------------------------            Requests for agenda slots at IETF
                              meetings       Requests for things to be done when you
                              don't know exactly where to send the
                              request         General questions about the IETF    Questions about registration, meeting
                              locations, and fees      Requests to join/leave IETF lists    Questions for the Secretariat          Questions or comments about the IETF
                              web site   Internet Draft submissions and queries       Where to send Working Group minutes and
                              slides for the IETF Proceedings              Internet Assigned Numbers Authority  RFC Editor

Top      Up      ToC       Page 44        Incoming liaison statements from other

   Online upload pages are planned for the future to facilitate
   submission of Internet Drafts, Proceedings, and Liaison statements.

A.3.  Useful Documents and Files

   The IETF web site,, is the best source for
   information about meetings, Working Groups, Internet Drafts, RFCs,
   IETF email addresses, and much more.  Click on "Additional
   Information" to find a variety of helpful links.  Internet Drafts and
   other documents are also available in the "ietf" directory on
   anonymous FTP sites worldwide.  For a listing of these sites, see

   Check the IESG web pages,, to find up-
   to-date information about drafts processed, RFCs published, and
   documents in Last Call, as well as the monthly IETF status reports.

A.4.  Acronyms and Abbreviations Used in the Tao

   Some of the acronyms and abbreviations from this document are listed

   Term          Meaning
   AD            Area Director
   BCP           Best Current Practice
   BOF           Birds of a Feather
   FAQ           Frequently Asked Question(s)
   FYI           For Your Information (RFC)
   IAB           Internet Architecture Board
   IAD           IETF Administrative Director
   IANA          Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
   IAOC          IETF Administrative Oversight Committee
   IASA          IETF Administrative Support Activity
   ICANN         Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
   I-D           Internet Draft
   IESG          Internet Engineering Steering Group,
   IETF          Internet Engineering Task Force,
   INET          Internet Society Conference,
   IPR           Intellectual property rights
   IRTF          Internet Research Task Force,

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   ISO           International Organization for Standardization,
   ISO-IEC/JTC1  Joint Technical Committee of the International
                        Organization for Standardization and
                        International Electrotechnical Commission,
   ISOC          Internet Society,
   ITU           International Telecommunication Union,
   RFC           Request for Comments
   STD           Standard (RFC)
   W3C           World Wide Web Consortium,
   WG            Working Group

Appendix B.  IETF Guiding Principles

   If you've gotten this far in the Tao, you've learned a lot about how
   the IETF works.  What you'll find in this appendix summarizes much of
   what you've read and adds a few new points to ponder.  Be sure to
   read through all the principles; taken as a whole, they'll give you a
   new slant on what makes the IETF work.

B.1.  General

   P1.   The IETF works by an open process and by rough consensus.  This
         applies to all aspects of the operation of the IETF, including
         creation of IETF documents and decisions on the processes that
         are used.  But the IETF also observes experiments and running
         code with interest, and this should also apply to the
         operational processes of the organization.

   P2.   The IETF works in areas where it has, or can find, technical

   P3.   The IETF depends on a volunteer core of active participants.

   P4.   Membership of the IETF or of its WGs is not fee-based or
         organizationally defined, but is based upon self-identification
         and active participation by individuals.

B.2.  Management and Leadership

   P5.   The IETF recognizes leadership positions and grants power of
         decision to the leaders, but decisions are subject to appeal.

   P6.   Delegation of power and responsibility are essential to the
         effective working of the IETF.  As many individuals as possible
         will be encouraged to take on leadership of IETF tasks.

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   P7.   Dissent, complaint, and appeal are a consequence of the IETF's
         nature and should be regarded as normal events, but ultimately
         it is a fact of life that certain decisions cannot be
         effectively appealed.

   P8.   Leadership positions are for fixed terms (although we have no
         formal limitation on the number of terms that may be served).

   P9.   It is important to develop future leaders within the active

   P10.  A community process is used to select the leadership.

   P11.  Leaders are empowered to make the judgment that rough
         consensus has been demonstrated.  Without formal membership,
         there are no formal rules for consensus.

B.3.  Process

   P12.  Although the IETF needs clear and publicly documented process
         rules for the normal cases, there should be enough flexibility
         to allow unusual cases to be handled according to common sense.
         We apply personal judgment and only codify when we're certain.
         (But we do codify who can make personal judgments.)

   P13.  Technical development work should be carried out by tightly
         chartered and focused Working Groups.

   P14.  Parts of the process that have proved impractical should be
         removed or made optional.

B.4.  Working Groups

   P15.  Working Groups (WGs) should be primarily responsible for the
         quality of their output, and therefore for obtaining early
         review; WG chairs as WG leaders, backed up by the IETF
         leadership, should act as a quality backstop.

   P16.  WGs should be primarily responsible for assessing the negative
         impact of their work on the Internet as a whole, and therefore
         for obtaining cross-area review; the IETF leadership should act
         as a cross-area backstop.

   P17.  Early review of documents is more effective in dealing with
         major problems than late review.

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   P18.  Area Directors (ADs) are responsible for guiding the formation
         and chartering of WGs, for giving them direction as necessary,
         and for terminating them.

   P19.  WG chairs are responsible for ensuring that WGs execute their
         charters, meet their milestones, and produce deliverables that
         are ready for publication.

   P20.  ADs are responsible for arranging backstop review and final
         document approval.

B.5.  Documents

   P21.  IETF documents often start as personal drafts, may become WG
         drafts, and are approved for permanent publication by a
         leadership body independent of the WG or individuals that
         produced them.

   P22.  IETF documents belong to the community, not to their authors.
         But authorship is recognized and valued, as are lesser
         contributions than full authorship.

   P23.  Technical quality and correctness are the primary criteria for
         reaching consensus about documents.

   P24.  IETF specifications may be published as Informational,
         Experimental, Standards Track, or Best Current Practice.

   P25.  IETF Standards Track specifications are not considered to be
         satisfactory standards until interoperable independent
         implementations have been demonstrated.  (This is the
         embodiment of the "running code" slogan.)  But, on legal
         advice, the IETF does not take responsibility for
         interoperability tests and does not certify interoperability.

   P26.  IETF processes are currently published as Best Current Practice

   P27.  Useful information that is neither a specification nor a
         process may be published as Informational.

   P28.  Obsolete or deprecated specifications and processes may be
         downgraded to Historic.

   P29.  The standards track should distinguish specifications that have
         been demonstrated to interoperate.

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   P30.  Standards Track and Best Current Practice documents must be
         subject to IETF wide rough consensus (Last Call process).  WG
         rough consensus is normally sufficient for other documents.

   P31.  Substantive changes made after a document leaves a WG must be
         referred back to the WG.

   P32.  The IETF determines requirements for publication and archiving
         of its documents.

Informative References

   [BCP9]     Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
              3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

   [BCP10]    Galvin, J., "IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and
              Recall Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall
              Committees", BCP 10, RFC 3777, June 2004.

   [BCP11]    Hovey, R. and S. Bradner, "The Organizations Involved in
              the IETF Standards Process", BCP 11, RFC 2028, October

   [BCP14]    Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [BCP22]    Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [BCP25]    Bradner, S., "IETF Working Group Guidelines and
              Procedures", BCP 25, RFC 2418, September 1998.

   [BCP26]    Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an
              IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 2434,
              October 1998.

   [BCP39]    Internet Architecture Board and B. Carpenter, "Charter of
              the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)", BCP 39, RFC 2850,
              May 2000.

   [BCP45]    Harris, S., "IETF Discussion List Charter", BCP 45, RFC
              3005, November 2000.

   [BCP72]    Rescorla, E. and B. Korver, "Guidelines for Writing RFC
              Text on Security Considerations", BCP 72, RFC 3552, July

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   [BCP78]    Bradner, S., "IETF Rights in Contributions", BCP 78, RFC
              3978, March 2005.

   [BCP79]    Bradner, S., "Intellectual Property Rights in IETF
              Technology", BCP 79, RFC 3979, March 2005.

   [BCP95]    Alvestrand, H., "A Mission Statement for the IETF", BCP
              95, RFC 3935, October 2004.

   [BCP101]   Austein, R. and B. Wijnen, "Structure of the IETF
              Administrative Support Activity (IASA)", BCP 101, RFC
              4071, April 2005.

   [BCP102]   Daigle, L. and Internet Architecture Board, "IAB Processes
              for Management of IETF Liaison Relationships", BCP 102,
              RFC 4052, April 2005.

   [BCP103]   Trowbridge, S., Bradner, S., and F. Baker, "Procedures for
              Handling Liaison Statements to and from the IETF", BCP
              103, RFC 4053, April 2005.

   [RFC1796]  Huitema, C., Postel, J., and S. Crocker, "Not All RFCs are
              Standards", RFC 1796, April 1995.

   [RFC2223]  Postel, J. and J. Reynolds, "Instructions to RFC Authors",
              RFC 2223, October 1997.

   [STD3]     Braden, R., "Requirements for Internet Hosts - Application
              and Support", STD 3, RFC 1123, October 1989.

Authors' Addresses

   Paul Hoffman
   VPN Consortium
   127 Segre Place
   Santa Cruz, CA  95060


   Susan Harris
   1722 Chandler Road
   Ann Arbor, MI  48104


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