How not to IETF: Lessons Learned From Failed Standardization Attempts

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Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Negative Results in Pervasive Computing, March .

Protocol standards work is an interesting mixture of technical, political, financial, and human factors. Standardization processes require stamina as they may be lengthy, and they demand frustration resistance as they may hold surprises at all stages. While this certainly bears some similarity to academic endeavors, the need to build broader consensus and the potential of far reaching industry impact, among other factors, lead to different incentives and value systems. Peer review perspectives may also differ notably. In this paper, we discuss issues we came across in the past when trying to develop and advance technologies in the IETF or push presumed solid technology solutions towards standardization. We summarize our personal perspectives on the lessons learned.

Download: welzl2023perfail.pdf