2.8 User Services Area

User Services Area Report
44th IETF - Minneapolis, MN, US
March 1999
April Marine (april_marine@isc.org)

The User Services (USV) Area has two active working groups. Also two BOFs met in Minneapolis and the first ever USV Open Area meeting was held.

The Site Security Handbook (SSH) working group is chaired by Barbara Fraser.

Since the Orlando meeting, the Site Security Handbook (SSH) working group closed with the publication of RFC 2504, FYI 34, the User's Security Handbook.

The Responsible Use of the Network (RUN) Working Group is chaired by Sally Hambridge.

The Responsible Use of the Network (RUN) working group did not meet in Minneapolis. Their "Don't Spew" document discouraging spam is being revised to address IESG comments. Their second document on responsible advertising has just enlisted new editors and there should be an updated draft soon.

The User Services Working Group (USWG) is chaired by April Marine.

The User Services Working Group (USWG) did meet. In addition to highlighting the recent work of the area, two drafts were discussed and a report received from the TERENA representative, Yuri Demchenko. The drafts discussed were updates to FYI 1, the introduction to the FYI series, which is being updated to include status notes on the published RFCs; and an update to FYI 4, the FAQ for new Internet users. The most extensive discussion was held on the draft of FYI 4, which will hopefully come before the IESG before the next IETF.

The Web Evangelism of Internet-Related Developments (WEIRD) BOF was chaired by Chris Burke.

The Web Evangelism of Internet-Related Developments (WEIRD) BOF met to gauge the level of interest in forming an IETF working group to develop web-based content, including a combination of less-technical language, formatted text, and graphics, to better inform people of IETF activities and the relationships among various IETF activities. Discussion gravitated toward two issues: selection of a target audience, and identification of kinds of info useful to that audience that the IETF could produce responsibly and without undue speculation. A structured discussion on roughly 15 distinct content types followed, with the group classifying each type either in scope or out of scope. There was rough consensus that it was worth forming a working group to develop an IETF web site to address this audience and serve this content. Many open issues remain, not the least of which is that the WG does not produce a "document" in the traditional IETF sense.

The FYI Updates (FYIUP) BOF was chaired by Philip J. Nesser II and Ray Plzak.

This BOF discussed three old FYIs that the USWG decided needed updating. They are:

- FYI 7: FYI on Questions and Answers: Answers to commonly asked "experienced Internet user" questions.
- FYI 15: Privacy and Accuracy Issues in Network Information Center Databases.
- FYI 27: Tools for DNS debugging.

The DNS Tools doc was also discussed in the DNS Operations BOF and there is was decided that such a document should NOT be updated because it is too liable to go out of date. A reference to information available via the web could be used instead.

Several issued were identified regarding FYI 15, such as the fact that there are now different laws that apply to this area. In addition, those who collect information, such as the Internet regsitries, should already have their own policies, which we should understand before proceeding. Some further investigation on this topic is needed before a final decision to update it is made.

The update to FYI 7 was discussed in depth, with several good ideas suggested. That doc has the clearest path forward.

A User Services Open Area Meeting was held and chaired by April Marine.

The User Services Area held its first open area meeting in Minneapolis. This was an experiment to see whether having such a meeting would cause people who were somewhat curious about the Area to attend and, if so, to elicit their points of view as new people on USV topics.

The experiment worked to a limited degree. It did attract some new people, but as a whole it was sparsely attended. The "regulars" in the USV area know that the USWG working group, which always meets on Monday, acts as the umbrella overview group for the area. However, it is difficult to conclude whether the limited attendance was due to limited interest or competition with the other meetings. Some suggestions and feedback were received from the attendees, so that was indeed useful.