Fragments - The Internet Protocol Journal, Volume 13, No.1

IETF Outcomes Wiki Launched

As an organization, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) measures its success by its publication of RFCs (see previous article). It does not explicitly ask itself whether published work is adopted and used by the greater Internet community. The IETF's dialogue about success started to change with the production of RFC 5218, "What Makes for a Successful Protocol?" [1] which documented case studies and empirical data about some of the factors that appear to correlate with success, in terms of community uptake for IETF work.

Taking a different approach in assessing long-term IETF impact, another tool is now available: A wiki that lets community participants list the success or failure of significant standards. The Outcomes Wiki [2] divides listings according to the "areas" used for managing technical work in the IETF, such as Applications or Transport. Outcomes are rated according to a 6-point scale, ranging from "complete failure" to "massive adoption, plus extensive derivative work."

The wiki began in June 2009, as an independent effort among a small set of IETF participants, to test its feasibility and evolve its design. For example, it quickly became clear that the single attribute of success vs. failure needed to be qualified by another attribute that indicates who the work is intended for, called "Target Segment." Work that is intended to support the internal operations of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is not necessarily visible to the billions of Internet users and will, at best, be part of only a few thousand organizations. In terms of Internet scale, that is considered minuscule. However wide adoption of a tool among ISPs can have substantial benefit, and thereby qualify as "massive adoption."

The wiki can serve both as a means of recording the IETF's track record of successes and failures, as well as providing a means of encouraging community dialogue about the quality of different IETF efforts. In addition, it can provide a window onto completed IETF work for the broader Internet community.

[1] D. Thaler and B. Aboba, "What Makes for a Successful Protocol?" RFC 5218, July 2008.


Final Phase of Four-byte AS Number Policy Begins in APNIC Region

From 1 January 2010, the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) ceased to make a distinction between four-byte only and two-byte only Autonomous System (AS) numbers. Instead, all AS numbers are now considered to be four-byte AS numbers.

This change marks the third phase of the transition to four-byte AS numbers. For more information on the implementation phases of the four-byte AS number policy, please see "Policies for Autonomous System number management in the Asia Pacific region," section 6.3, "Timetable for moving from two-byte only AS numbers to four-byte AS numbers," available from:

To learn more about how the transition to four-byte AS numbers may affect your network, see:

Charting the Course for Future Internet Leaders

As the importance of the Internet grows in all aspects of modern life, so too do the challenges of those in positions of leadership and responsibility.

Responding to the need for well-qualified leadership, the Internet Society (ISOC) is now accepting applications from people seeking to join the new generation of Internet leaders to address the critical technology, policy, business, and education challenges that lie ahead.

Successful candidates in ISOC's Next Generation Leaders Program will gain a wide range of skills in a variety of disciplines, as well as the ability and experience to work with people at all levels of society.

This program, under the patronage of the European Commission, blends course work and practical experience to help prepare young professionals (aged from 20 to 40) from around the world to become the next generation of Internet technology, policy, and business leaders.

"The Internet Society's Next Generation Leaders Program is a unique opportunity to identify potential Internet leaders and help them accelerate their careers," said Bill Graham, responsible for strategic global engagement at ISOC.

The key to the Internet’s success lies in the Internet Model of decentralized architecture and distributed responsibility for development, operation, and management. That model also creates important leadership opportunities, especially in those spaces where technology, policy, and business intersect.

"We have designed the Next Generation Leaders Program to prepare young professionals for leadership, bridging the boundaries between business, technical development, policy, and governance on local, regional, and international levels," said Graham.

Full details of the Next Generation Leaders Program are available at: