[Replies to pwg at pwg.org, please -- unless you want to send private
comments to the IETF APPS ADs.]
> Through the course of the last few weeks, there have been
> a number of cases where the activities of the PWG and the
> IETF have been confused.
I agree with this assessment, and am also interested in lessening the
Here's IETF's position on the ipp and printmib working groups:
IETF chartered its ipp and printmib working groups with the
understanding that these were exactly like any other IETF working
group -- operating solely under IETF's direction and process rules,
with no other organization speaking on the group's behalf, and
composed of individuals (not vendors or vendor representatives) who
were interested in doing work in this area. If IETF had approved some
exception to its normal way of doing business, this would have been
explicitly indicated in the working group's charter.
IETF has many ways of cooperating with other organizations which
develop technical specifications. It may establish liasons with them,
accept external support (e.g. hosting of web pages and mailing lists),
and provide technical assistance to extra-IETF standards efforts when
requested to do so. IETF's rules allow any individual or organization
to submit documents for publication as Informational and Experimental
RFCs or for consideration as Internet standards. However, IETF does
not charter other organizations' working groups, nor does it share
administration of its working groups with other organizations.
So how does this affect the web pages, meetings, and administrative
1. Any web pages that are maintained on behalf of printmib or ipp
should represent these groups as IETF working groups, originally
started by PWG and currently operating under IETF's administration.
This should not downplay PWG's role in starting the working groups or
in providing support services for those groups, but should make it
clear that the groups are operated/administered by IETF, according to
IETF's process rules.
2. From IETF's point-of-view, disclaimers are not necessary. However,
it is desirable to clearly distinguish between IETF working group
documents (agendas, charters, minutes of meetings and teleconferences,
mailing list archives, draft documents, and RFCs), and PWG documents.
This could be as simple as putting them in different directories.
It is possible for a working document or an RFC to be both an IETF
document and a PWG document, as long as it follows both organizations'
3. IETF has rules regarding working group meetings: they must be
announced, they must be open to all, minutes must be taken and sent to
minutes at ietf.org in a timely fashion, etc. Nothing in IETF policy
prevents a group from meeting on a regular basis -- indeed this is the
norm -- though ipp and printmib have more frequent meetings than most
Note that in principle, all IETF working group decisions are made on
the mailing list. In practice, this means that any decisions made
outside of the mailing list -- whether in a face to face meeting,
teleconference, or bar discussion -- must be reviewed by the list, and
are subject to change if there are significant objections on the list.
4. There's no problem with having PWG and IETF meetings at the same
location, at slightly different times, with many of the same people in
attendance -- just as long as it's very clear which meetings are
which. There is plenty of precedent for this within IETF.
5. IETF doesn't place many limits on mailing list discussion, other
than expecting its working group chairs to keep the discussion on
topic. If the chairs of an IETF working group believe that a PWG
meeting notice or minutes is of interest to that group, there's no
reason why it should not be sent to the group's mailing list, as long
as IETF activities are distinguished from PWG activities.
6. An active PWG group and an active IETF group should not share a
mailing list. It's too easy for the discussions to get confused.