Collaboration in the IETF: an initial analysis of two decades in email discussions

Michael Welzl, Stephan Oepen, Cezary Jaskula, Carsten Griwodz, Safiqul Islam


RFC 9000, published in May 2021, marks an important milestone for the Internet’s standardization body, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF): finally, the specification of the QUIC protocol is available. QUIC is the result of a five-year effort – and it is also the second of two major protocols (the first being SPDY, which later became HTTP/2) that Google LLC first deployed, and then brought to the IETF for standardization. This begs the question: when big players follow such a “shoot first, discuss later” approach, is IETF collaboration still “real”, or is the IETF now being (mis-)used to approve protocols for standardization when they are already practically established, without really actively involving anyone but the main proponents?

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