IETF OUTCOMES -- Successes and Failures

The IETF has operated in its current form since 1989. Some of its standards have succeeded on a very large and visible scale. Others are successful, but visible only to a more limited community. Others have fared poorly. This wiki lists technologies and services that were developed in the IETF and represent notable successes or failures. It is an informal, collaborative effort of IETF participants, to provide feedback to the community about the utility of IETF efforts, as well as to facilitate public understanding of IETF work and impact. The contents of the wiki are revised according to the views of individual contributors and have not been subject to IETF Rough Consensus assessment.

There is a table for each IETF technical Area:

The wiki is only as complete and accurate as community effort makes it.

To guide the effort:

Table Structure

The table(s) have the following layout:

Technology / ServiceDescriptionIETF OriginYears to DevelopDate IssuedUsageTarget SegmentRFCsComments


A label that is most appropriate as an umbrella term to describe this 'category" of technology or service.
A one sentence summary of the nature and purpose of the work. What problem does it solve and/or benefit does it enable?
IETF Origin
Was the work started and developed entirely in the IETF? A 'no' means it was brought to the IETF in a completed form and possibly with an installed base, for IETF refinement.
Years to Develop
Roughly how long it took to produce a useful set of RFCs, from the start of work in the IETF. Here, "useful" means that the specification(s) were sufficient to fully enable doing something new and useful for the Internet operations and/or user communities.
Date of Issuance
When were the specifications issued out of the IETF? Typically this will be the publication date of an RFC. When there is a set of multiple RFCs, the "date of issuance" that probably makes the most sense is whenever the software and operations community could reasonably start using the standard(s) to do something useful.
Five-point degree-of-use scale, within the specified Target Segment. Note that becoming essential within a small Segment might warrant a "++", while gaining slight adoption within a larger Segment might have larger usagenumbers, but still warrant a "-":
++ :  became an essential capability
+  :  gained significant usefulness
0  :  outcome still pending
-  :  only gained minor usefulness
-- :  complete failure

Optional Derivation Indicator, added to the degree-of-adoption value:

>  :  prompted extensive derivative work

An effort can produce follow-on work, independent of whether or how much that original effort was successful. Therefore, this indicator can be added to any of the degree-of-adoption values.

Target Segment
Who is the community of adopters that actually use (or failed to use) the work? In the hope of getting some consistency in responses, here are some labels to consider using:
  • End-user (that is, global Internet)
  • Enterprise User (for example, VPN?)
  • Enterprise Ops
  • ISP Ops
  • Global Infrastructure (for example, BGP)
Pointer to list of deployed implementations, to aid reader understanding of adoption -- this is not for marketing entries. This should either be a URL, in the form of an external URL:
[http://<URL> <entry name> Software]
or a reference to a wiki sub-page that contains a simple list of URLs. The sub-page reference is in the form:
[wiki:Ietf<entry name> <Entry Name> Software
such as [wiki:IetfDnsSec DSNSec Software]. The sub-page's entries should be a series of lines, in the form:
[http://<URL> <External Reference Name>]
The set of RFCs that specify this item.
Enter brief comments directly.

To provide more detailed information and discussion, enter a URL to an external web page. You can also create a subordinate wiki page, by adding the following to the Comment cell:

See:  [<topic>Discussion Discussion]

where <topic> is a string based on the Technology/Service? string in first column; that is, the name of the entry. Complete editing the current wiki page and then click on the link to the Discussion page. You will be prompted to add its first information.

Using a Trac Wiki

As with all Wiki pages, this page is editable. This means that you can modify the contents of this page by using your web-browser. Simply click on the "Edit this page" link at the bottom of the page, if you have already logged in. WikiFormatting will give you a detailed description ofavailable Wiki formatting commands.

Starting Points

For a complete list of local wiki pages, see TitleIndex.