Words from the IETF Chair

By: Russ Housley

Date: March 1, 2012

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russ housley

The IETF participants remain actively engaged in developing the future of the Internet!

For the first time, an IETF meeting was held in Taipei, Taiwan, and we felt most welcome. Attended by 931 people from 48 countries, IETF 82 was hosted by the Taiwan Network Information Center (TWNIC), which served as a wonderful host. The hotel and the convention center facilities were comfortable, and Tuesday evening’s social event was well attended. TWNIC was assisted by 15 sponsors, which helped make the event successful. APNIC sponsored the welcome reception; Chunghwa Telecom sponsored the network connectivity; the Bureau of Foreign Trade was a Platinum sponsor; and DNI was a gold sponsor. Thanks to all for your support.

Many working groups (WGs) made significant progress at IETF 82. It was a genuine pleasure to see so many talented people engaged and collaborating.

Since IETF 81, four working groups have been chartered and eight have closed—our count remains fairly steady at 117 WGs. Between meetings, the WGs and their individual contributors produced 512 new Internet-Drafts and updated 1,112 existing Internet-Drafts, some more than once. The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) approved 107 Internet-Drafts for publication as RFCs. The RFC Editor published 97 new RFCs.

You might not know it, but many of the computer systems you use every day depend on the time zone (TZ) database. Arthur David Olson started the TZ database in the mid-1980s as a public service; he had no expectation of payment or other reward. Today, this database is globally vital. Nearing retirement, Olson sought a new home for the TZ database, and the TZ community selected IANA. To accomplish this task, the IESG approved a policy for the TZ database, and the document is in the RFC Editor queue.

Sadly, the story does not end there. Astrolabe, Inc. filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Olson and Paul Eggert, another member of the TZ community. As a result, the TZ database was taken offline on 7 October 2011. The Internet community helped arrange pro bono legal assistance for Olson, and although the governing RFC was not yet published, ICANN brought the TZ database online at on 14 October 2011. Many thanks to those Internet heroes who created the TZ database and to those Internet heroes who acted to keep it available to everyone.

The IETF continues to improve its tools. The Datatracker provides a great deal of visibility into the processing of the documents in the IETF stream, and this visibility was recently extended to cover actions within Working Groups. Not all WGs are using this capability yet, but I strongly encourage them to do so. Over the next few months, the database behind the Datatracker will be significantly updated, making it much easier for community-oriented enhancements to be made in the future.

IETF 83 will take place in Paris, France, on 25–30 March 2012. No host has been identified for the meeting in Paris. Scheduling information for the upcoming IETF meetings can always be found at I look forward to seeing you there.