Monthly Archives: February 2013

Chair’s Blog


Welcome to a new publication from the IETF, a blog from the (incoming) IETF chair! I wanted to create this blog as an additional communications channel, providing some insight into the kinds of things that the chair is working on, as well as hopefully soliciting further feedback on what we should be thinking about or doing at the IETF. As we learn how well this channel works, it could perhaps expand into being used by others, such as other area directors.

A couple of weeks ago I learned that the IETF nominating committee had picked me to become the new IETF chair, to follow Russ Housley as he is stepping down from his six-year term. Since then I have been working daily with Russ on learning what the chair has to do, reviewing processes and status of various support organisations, and talking to people. I have just started this process, and I want to talk to many of you personally, to find out what the importance of IETF is for you, where we could improve, and what new things we should perhaps be working on.

And I am excited. Because I get to work with you, the people at the IETF. And because I think we keep working on interesting technologies that have a bright future. Such as networking smart objects or WebRTC, to name a couple of personal favourites. And I am grateful that I am allowed to do this work, for nomcom, and for Ericsson.

But it also strikes me that we are in a very different place than we were six years ago when Russ started his work, or when Brian Carpenter or Harald Alvestrand started their work a couple of years earlier. Back then we had serious problems on many areas. After the administrative restructuring, building a professional support organisation, setting up IT infrastructure, rewriting the datatracker, developing tools to support the IETF work, making the leadership work in much more transparent manner, and countless other improvements have made a significant change. It is not always easy to remember these changes, as they happen on long time scales, but the end result is that today it is much easier to work in the IETF than it used to be. So thank you Russ, previous chairs, all the volunteer tool developers, IESG, administrative director and committee, secretariat staff, IANA, RFC Editor and countless others for these improvements!

Not that there wouldn’t be challenges. There are plenty – otherwise our work would be too easy and boring. I’ll talk more about some of those challenges in future articles.

See you all soon in Orlando – the IETF meeting is just two weeks away!

Jari Arkko, the incoming IETF chair