The 46th meeting of the IETF was held in Washington, DC from November 7-12,1999. What is it about the fall meeting? With one or two exceptions, this is the meeting where a jump in attendance is most likely to occur. There was no doubt that this would be the largest IETF meeting its 13 year history, even if we don't count the number of construction workers on site at the meeting.
The meeting was very (VERY) well attended! We knew this would be a large meeting as we watched the number of registrations arriving every day. When the dust settled (and the acetone vapors were cleared out of the Blue Room), the attendance stopped just short of 2400. The percentage of non-US attendees remained at 22% for this meeting.
The plenary session opened with a presentation to Geoff Stewart from the IETF, thanking him for his sprinkling of IPR pixie dust onto our standards process. Geoff has worked very closely with the IESG over the years, and his efforts are greatly appreciated.
Staying with the IPR theme du moment, there was a presentation by Bob Kahn (CNRI) and Don Heath (ISOC) on the current status of the Internet Trademark Dispute. CNRI and ISOC requested that the term "Internet" be freely used by anyone to refer to the Internet, as we know it technically, and as it has become widely known to the public. It appears that this is almost a done deal, but the community must wait until the PTO signs a letter.
Additional presentations included a presentation of PRO-COW, a study by Balachander Kristnamurthy and Anja Feldman on Protocol Compliance on the Web, Bruce Davie providing a summary of the NRC Report on the Internet and Health Care, and a short presentation by Mark Prior on the upcoming IETF meeting in Australia.
Someone to watch over me
In October 1999 the Raven mailing list was created to discuss the question of whether or not the IETF should develop new protocols or modify existing protocols to support mechanisms whose primary purpose is to support wiretapping or other law enforcement activities. The idea was initiate the discussion and attempt to gauge community consensus prior to the DC IETF meeting. Jeff Schiller and Scott Bradner moderated a discussion forum during the IETF Plenary session.
The discussion was very well attended, and was quite lively. The purpose of the forum was to gather additional input on the subject. The results of the discussions, both on the Raven list and those from the plenary session, will be documented in an Internet-Draft, and will eventually be published as an RFC.
The IAB and IESG open plenary sessions followed the presentation, and might have gone on into the night until one participant did uttered "It's 11pm; can't we go now?"
I would like to thank Nortel Networks for hosting this meeting of the IETF, for providing the terminal room facilities, and arranging the social event. I would especially like to recognize the efforts of John Pugh and Doug Moeller of Nortel who worked around the clock to support the attendees, and to Glenn Parsons who was instrumental in Nortel's decision to host. Our thanks also go out to Roy Mills, VP Nortel, whose budget included a line item for hosting the IETF meeting!
The configuration of the terminal room facilities depends a great deal on the generosity of equipment vendors and service providers, and I want to thank the following organizations for their contributions and assistance:
Cable & Wireless
The first meeting of new century marks the IETF's first visit down under. We'll be meeting in Adelaide, South Australia March 26-31, 2000. The IETF then travels to Pittsburgh where the meeting is scheduled for July 31-August 4. The final 2000 meeting is still in the planning stages, but it appears that the IETF will meet in the San Diego area December 11-15.
For information about future meetings, visit the IETF Web Page. Our URL is http://www.ietf.org