Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) P. Hoffman
Request for Comments: 6433 VPN Consortium
Updates: 6292 November 2011
Requirements for a Working Group Milestones Tool
The IETF intends to provide a new tool to Working Group chairs and
Area Directors for the creation and updating of milestones for
Working Group charters. This document describes the requirements for
the proposed new tool, and it is intended as input to a later
activity for the design and development of such a tool. This
document updates RFC 6292.
Status of This Memo
This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
published for informational purposes.
This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has
received public review and has been approved for publication by the
Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Not all documents
approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
Copyright (c) 2011 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
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[RFC2418] describes the guidelines and procedures for operation of
IETF Working Groups (WGs). Every WG has milestones that the WG is
supposed to meet, such as the publication of a particular Internet-
Draft or the beginning of discussion on a particular topic. A WG's
charter has several parts; one of those parts is the milestones.
Changing milestones currently requires Area Director (AD) approval,
but changing the charter text requires IESG approval.
Today, the tasks associated with creating and updating WG milestones
are performed manually by the Secretariat. Normally, WG chairs send
email to their AD requesting that milestones be created or updated.
They send mail to the their AD, or directly to the Secretariat, when
one or more milestone has been met. Apart from during WG creation,
these updates will be made through a separate tool after the
requirements in this document and in [RFC6292] are met.
In early 2011, the IETF approved a set of requirements for a tool
that helps ADs with the WG chartering and rechartering process
[RFC6292]. During the IESG discussion of that document, it became
clear that everyone wanted more automation to the milestones process.
This document is intended to bring that discussion to a general
consensus for the requirements for the eventual tool.
Note that this document only discusses updating milestones that an
active WG is working against. As described in [RFC6292], when a WG
is rechartering, the new charter might also include new milestones.
The tool described here must not change the milestones that are
proposed for a WG recharter. That is, there must be two sets of
milestones kept by the Datatracker, one for the current WG charter
and one for a proposed recharter; the tool described here must only
affect the first of these two sets.
The IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) would like to
create a better tool for the tasks of WG milestone creation and
updating, and this document lists the requirements for such a tool.
When complete, this document may be used to issue an request for
proposals for the design and development of the tool. This document
was prepared at the request of the IAOC.
2. Users of the Tool
This tool can only be used by WG chairs and ADs, not by other members
of the IETF community. The tool will use the login and access
control features that will already be in place from the outcome of
the tool created by [RFC6292]. It is important to note that some
people are chairs for more than one WG, and everyone must be able to
use the tool for all of the WGs that they chair.
Any AD can add or update any milestone for any WG. Normally, an AD
would only add or update milestones in the WGs for which they are the
responsible AD, but ADs are not bound by such a limitation. (This is
the same model used in the Datatracker for other actions: it allows
one AD to carry the load for an AD who is temporarily unable to
perform such tasks.) WG chairs can only add or update milestones for
WGs of which they are chairs.
The IETF Secretariat needs to be able to perform the same tasks as
the ADs in order to fix problems or to make emergency changes.
The database will record the date and person who initiates any
addition of, or change to, a milestone. The contents of the database
will be visible to the IETF community so that anyone can see who made
a particular change to a milestone.
3. Updating, Adding, and Deleting Milestones
A WG chair needs to see all of the milestones for that chair's WG in
the tool. The chair needs to be able to change any milestone record
for that chair's WG. In each existing record, the chair needs to be
able to change the due date, the finished date, the associated
Internet-Drafts, and the description of the milestone. The chair
also needs to be able to delete existing milestones.
A WG chair needs to be able to add one or more milestone records to
the database for their WG. The chair needs to be able to specify the
due date, zero or more associated Internet-Drafts, and the
description of the record that he or she is adding.
4. Acceptance of Milestone Additions and Changes
There are six actions associated with adding and changing milestones:
o create new milestones
o delete milestones
o change milestone descriptions
o change milestone due dates
o change which Internet-Drafts are associated with a milestone
o assert that a milestone is no longer due
In addition to the above six actions, the tool must support
reordering of the list of milestones.
WG chairs can change milestone due dates, change which Internet-
Drafts are associated with a milestone, can assert that a milestone
is no longer due, for their WG, and reorder the list. When any of
these three actions are taken in the Datatracker, an email
notification is sent to the AD for the WG as well as to the WG's
chairs; the changes are reflected immediately in the Datatracker
without any need for approval from an AD.
WG chairs can also create new milestones, delete milestones, and
change milestone descriptions; however, any of these action are not
reflected in the Datatracker until the action is approved by an AD.
When a WG chair makes the proposed change, an email notification is
sent to the AD for the WG as well as to the WG's chairs.
When creating a milestone, it must be possible to set a due date. It
must also be to change the due date at any time.
When asserting that a milestone is no longer due, it must be possible
to provide an arbitrary short description phrase. Often this phrase
will be "Done", but other phrases such as "On hold" are also allowed.
When the Datatracker presents a milestone, the only information that
is expected to be associated with the provided phrase is that the
milestone is no longer due. The Datatracker will present the list of
milestones in the order given in the tool.
As noted in Section 2, any AD can take any of these six actions, as
well as reordering the list. After this tool is launched, the IETF
Secretariat will no longer need to post a change to the database
because the tool will do this without intervention by the
Secretariat; however, the Secretariat can take any of these six
actions as well.
When adding or editing a milestone, the AD or WG Chair must be able
to review and change the proposed change before committing the change
to the Datatracker. This will help prevent errors and reduce the
number of fixes that need to be made.
Once a day, the Datatracker will look for changes to the milestones
for a WG. If changes to milestones have been made in the past 24
hours, the Datatracker will send one message to the WG listing all
the changes from that period.
The Datatracker needs to have a method for ADs and the Secretariat to
see all the milestones that are pending approval. This list should
be sorted by the responsible AD.
5. Mapping Milestones to Internet-Drafts
There is currently no mechanism to map WG milestones to Internet-
Drafts. While most milestones map one-to-one with Internet-Drafts,
some milestones do not map to any Internet-Draft (such as those that
say when a general discussion will begin or finish), and other
milestones map to multiple Internet-Drafts (such as a milestone that
covers a topic that has multiple related Internet-Drafts). Some
Internet-Drafts are part of more than one milestone.
The new tool is required to make mappings between milestones and
Internet-Drafts explicit, and those drafts must be listed in views of
the milestone. This change will require a change to the Datatracker
database to make such an association.
When an Internet-Draft that is mapped to a milestone changes its
state to "Submitted to IESG for Publication" as described in
[RFC6174], the tool will send a message to the WG chairs to remind
them that they might want to update the milestone. Note that this
message will not apply to all Internet-Drafts that are mapped to a
milestone, so it is up to the WG chairs to decide what to do when
such a message is received.
6. Reminders for WG Chairs and ADs
Milestone changes that do not require AD approval are made
immediately. Requested changes that require AD approval are tracked
by the tool. If the AD has not approved or rejected the change
within a week, email listing the request and the request date is sent
to the WG chairs and AD. That email is sent every week until the AD
has approved or rejected the request; the WG chairs are CC'd on this
The tool will also send WG chairs reminders about pending milestones.
A message is sent when a milestone is one month from being due, at
the time a milestone is due, and every month in which a milestone is
The tool will also send WG chairs reminders about Internet-Drafts
that are mapped to milestones. A message is sent when such a draft
is one month from expiring, and at the time that a draft expires. If
a milestone is mapped to a draft that is expired, mail reminding the
chairs of this will be sent weekly.
When a WG chair makes an Internet-Draft a WG work item, the
Datatracker will remind them that they may want to also add that
document to a milestone.
7. Viewing Changes in Milestones
[RFC6292] describes an extension to the Datatracker to allow the IETF
community to view, search, and track changes to WG charters. This
document updates those requirements to allow the IETF community to
view, search, and track changes to WG milestones.
Section 5.1 of [RFC6292] is updated to allow searching for any text
in a milestone's description, as well as for the name of any
Internet-Draft name that is mapped to any milestone.
A new capability will be added to the Datatracker that is similar to
that described in Section 5.2 of [RFC6292], but instead of showing
differences between charters, it shows differences between the full
set of milestones. Any time a milestone is added, deleted, or any of
its fields changed, or the list is reordered, the full set of
milestones is considered changed. A user should be able to easily
compare two full sets of milestones with the differences highlighted.
The tool should show who made each change when changes are viewed.
These features should be found in the same place as the features
described in Section 5.2 of [RFC6292].
The tool needs to provide an Atom feed [RFC4287] for the changes in
the milestones for a WG. The contents of the feed are the full WG
record, plus an indication of what changed since the last entry in
the feed and who made the change. This feed is different than the
feed described in Section 5.3 of [RFC6292], but it should be offered
to users in the same places as that feed is offered.
When a milestone is marked as no longer due, the Datatracker will
display the month and year that this change was made and will display
the status (such as "Done" or "On hold").
8. Security Considerations
Creating a new tool for updating the milestones of WGs does not
affect the security of the Internet in any significant fashion.
This document draws heavily on ideas from various WG chairs and ADs
on the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list.