Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) B. Campbell, Ed.
Request for Comments: 7957 Oracle
BCP: 67 A. Cooper
Updates: 5727 Cisco
Category: Best Current Practice B. Leiba
ISSN: 2070-1721 Huawei Technologies
August 2016 DISPATCH-Style Working Groups and the SIP Change Process
RFC 5727 defined several processes for the former Real-time
Applications and Infrastructure (RAI) area. These processes include
the evolution of the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and related
protocols, as well as the operation of the DISPATCH and SIPCORE
working groups. This document updates RFC 5727 to allow flexibility
for the area and working group structure, while preserving the SIP
change processes. It also generalizes the DISPATCH working group
processes so that they can be easily adopted by other working groups.
Status of This Memo
This memo documents an Internet Best Current Practice.
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). Further information on
BCPs is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
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Table of Contents
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22. DISPATCH-Style Working Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33. Decoupling the SIP Change Process from the RAI Area . . . . . 44. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61. Introduction
[RFC5727] described processes for evolving and maintaining the
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) [RFC3261] and related technologies
in the former Real-time Application and Infrastructure (RAI) area.
These processes are collectively known as the "SIP Change Process".
While areas do not normally have "charters" per se, RFC 5727
effectively served as a charter for RAI. The language in RFC 5727
was tightly bound to the RAI area and to the DISPATCH and SIPCORE
In 2015, The RAI area merged with the Applications (APP) area to form
the Applications and Real-Time (ART) area. This document updates RFC
5727 to remove its dependency on RAI and its working group structure.
The updates in this document do not depend on the names of the new
area, or any specific working group. Rather, the authors seek to
future-proof the SIP Change Process against future reorganizations.
RFC 5727 specified that the DISPATCH working group assesses potential
new work for the area, and determines where such work should occur.
DISPATCH does not itself take on such new work. The SIPCORE working
group is responsible for maintenance of SIP. Other historically RAI
area working groups develop extensions to SIP that do not change the
core protocol, new applications of SIP, and other technologies for
interactive communication among humans. This document further
generalizes the processes of the DISPATCH working group so that they
can be applied to other areas, or to clusters of technologies within
This document does not change any other aspect of RFC 5727. While
areas and working groups may change over time, the rules and
procedures for changing SIP and other historically RAI protocols
remain the same, until such time that they are updated by future
2. DISPATCH-Style Working Groups
The DISPATCH working group has proven successful at managing new work
for the RAI and ART areas. Areas may choose to adopt DISPATCH-like
procedures, either for an entire area, or for technology clusters in
an area or across areas. A "DISPATCH-Style" working group operates
according to procedures similar to those used for DISPATCH.
This document is not intended to recommend DISPATCH-style groups for
any specific IETF area other than ART. Different areas have
different needs, and those needs may change over time. It is up to
the community and respective Area Directors to determine if a
DISPATCH-style group is appropriate for any given situation.
The "DISPATCH-style" includes the following essential elements:
o The working group evaluates proposals for new work for an area, or
for a well-defined technology cluster. It acts as a filter for
the area or cluster to determine whether a proposal is a
reasonable use of, or addition to, associated technologies. This
determination may depend upon established criteria (for example,
the SIP Change Process), the experience and expertise of the
participants, or a combination of the two.
o The DISPATCH-style working group determines an appropriate venue
for the work. The venue could be an existing working group. If
no appropriate group exists, it may develop a charter for a BoF or
a new working group. The group might also recommend that a
proposal progress as an AD-sponsored individual draft, or even
that a proposal should not be acted upon at the time.
o The DISPATCH-style working group does not complete the proposed
work. It may, however, adopt milestones needed to properly
dispatch the work. For example, it may produce charter text for a
BoF or a new working group, an initial problem statement, or
documentation about why certain work was not pursued.
Nothing in this list prevents existing working groups from directly
adopting new work that reasonably fits their charters, nor does it
prevent new-work proposals from going directly to BoF meetings when
appropriate. For borderline cases, the decision whether new work
should start in a DISPATCH-style group or elsewhere is made by the
responsible Area Directors and chairs. Likewise, in cases where an
area has multiple DISPATCH-style groups for different purposes or
technology clusters, deciding which group will handle a particular
proposal is up to the responsible Area Directors and relevant chairs.
The charter of a DISPATCH-style group should make that fact clear,
either by referencing this document, or by directly describing
3. Decoupling the SIP Change Process from the RAI Area
This document clarifies that the SIP Change Process is not bound to
any particular area or working group structure. All references to
the RAI area in RFC 5727 should be interpreted as "the cluster of SIP
and closely related application and infrastructure technologies, as
well as other technologies designed primarily for interactive
communication, historically among humans".
While the DISPATCH and SIPCORE working groups are expected to
continue in their current capacities, nothing in the SIP Change
Process prevents their responsibilities from being assigned to other
working groups in the future.
All other aspects of the SIP Change Process are to continue as
described in RFC 5727.
4. Security Considerations
This document discusses the roles and responsibilities of areas and
working groups. It does not create new security considerations in
the conventional sense.
However, organizational structures come with their own security
considerations. A DISPATCH-style working group has the potential to
concentrate the control of work for an area or cluster in the hands
of a much smaller set of people than those in the whole area or
cluster. This could effectively create bottlenecks or roadblocks for
new work in an area or cluster. Likewise, such a concentration could
reduce the quality of decisions about new work. Care must be taken
to avoid this risk. The best mitigation is active participation in
the group by as many people in the area or cluster as possible.
5.1. Normative References
[RFC5727] Peterson, J., Jennings, C., and R. Sparks, "Change Process
for the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the Real-
time Applications and Infrastructure Area", BCP 67,
RFC 5727, DOI 10.17487/RFC5727, March 2010,
5.2. Informative References
[RFC3261] Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston,
A., Peterson, J., Sparks, R., Handley, M., and E.
Schooler, "SIP: Session Initiation Protocol", RFC 3261,
DOI 10.17487/RFC3261, June 2002,
[RFC3427] Mankin, A., Bradner, S., Mahy, R., Willis, D., Ott, J.,
and B. Rosen, "Change Process for the Session Initiation
Protocol (SIP)", RFC 3427, DOI 10.17487/RFC3427, December
The authors would like to thank all the previous authors of the SIP
Change Process for their contributions. Jon Peterson, Cullen
Jennings, and Robert Sparks authored RFC 5727. That RFC obsoleted
[RFC3427], which was in turn written by Allison Mankin, Scott
Bradner, Rohan Mahy, Dean Willis, Brian Rosen, and Joerg Ott.
The authors additionally thank the present and past chairs of
DISPATCH and SIPCORE, as well as all the participants in the former
RAI area since its inception.