A recent Internet Draft noted the growing Free and Open Source Software movement as a trend that the IETF, as a community, can participate in by helping open source and open standards work together. As the draft states, “Open source and open standards have a natural and symbiotic relationship, and implementing open standards through open source projects strengthens the standards and the community at large.” IETF Hackathons, begun just last year, tangibly address this and promote the connection between open source and open standards by providing a focal point for developing open source implementations of standards developed in the IETF.
As a first measure of success, participation in the three IETF Hackathons held last year exceeded expectations and drew in contributors that weren’t already participating directly in the IETF itself. Perhaps even more importantly, work at IETF Hackathons has identified issues with standards still under development by IETF working groups, providing invaluable information about what worked and what didn’t work in real operating network environments. IETF Hackathons are not only an example of the “running code” that has been a touchstone of the IETF since the beginning, but they have also helped improve the standards as they are developed.
Therefore I’m very pleased that Huawei will be sponsoring the IETF Hackathon events associated with each IETF meeting throughout 2016. The first 2016 IETF Hackathon will be held just ahead of IETF 95 in Buenos Aires starting on Saturday April 1st. There are already more than 90 individuals registered for the event to tackle topics such as DNS (including DNSSEC and DANE), NETVC, TLS, and NETCONF/YANG.
And remember: it’s not too late to sign up to participate! Many Hackathon participants also attend and participate in the IETF meeting, but IETF attendance is not required, and participation in the Hackathon is free.
Of course, we’re also looking forward to the other IETF Hackathons for the rest of the year, in Berlin in July and in Seoul in November. I encourage you to share information about the IETF Hackathons to anyone you know who might be interested in helping to bring together open Internet standards and open source. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Buenos Aires.
Barry Leiba, Huawei (also, an Applications and Real-Time Area Director at the IETF)