The Future of a Zoo of Protocols and IETF Standards: Finding the Missing Link

Missing Link: IETF standards - about the future of a "zoo of protocols"

The TCPM working group, meeting in Yokohama next week, is an area in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) where German researchers are dominating. In an interview with Michael Tüxen and Michael Scharf, former joint heads of the TCPM working group, the topic of transport protocols for the Internet is discussed. When asked if transport protocols are a German domain, Scharf noted that many in the Transport Area have a German background due to the country’s strong research landscape. However, in areas like applications and routing, North American development departments and research facilities dominate.

Regarding IETF activities, Tüxen noticed a trend among German participants to switch from industry to universities, but individual support varies. In terms of becoming an IETF working group leader, the area director makes the decision based on a variety of factors. Scharf added that it makes sense to have people with detailed knowledge of each protocol, even if they come from the same company.

The interview concluded with the suggestion that in the fast-paced world of technology, nuances and different perspectives should be heard, and conspiracy theories should be avoided when looking at the selection process for working group leaders.

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