2.8.2 User Services (uswg)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 46th IETF Meeting in Washington, DC. It may now be out-of-date. Last Modified: 29-Sep-99


April Marine <april_marine@iengines.net>

User Services Area Director(s):

April Marine <april_marine@iengines.net>

User Services Area Advisor:

April Marine <april_marine@iengines.net>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion:uswg@isi.edu
To Subscribe: uswg-request@isi.edu
Archive: ftp://ftp.near.net/mail-archives/us-wg*

Description of Working Group:

The User Services Working Group of the IETF provides a regular forum for people interested in all levels of user services to identify and initiate projects designed to improve the quality of information available to users of the Internet. USWG's goals are:

1. Meet on a regular basis to consider projects designed to improve services to users.

2. Create working groups or other focus groups to carry out projects deemed worthy of pursuing.

3. Provide a forum in which user services providers can discuss and identify common concerns.

4. Take on work to update existing FYI documents when that work does not coincide with the scope of an existing Working Group.

This is an active, on-going working group in the USV area of the IETF. It is the spawning ground for establishing other working groups in this area.

Goals and Milestones:

Nov 99


Submit I-D to update FYI 1 to IESG for publication as an Informational RFC.

Nov 99


Submit I-D to update FYI 7

Mar 00


Submit I-D to update FYI 17

Aug 00


Submit I-D to update FYI 7 to IESG for publication as an Informational RFC.

Nov 00


Submit I-D to update FYI 17 to IESG for publication as an Informational RFC.


Request For Comments:







F.Y.I. on F.Y.I.: Introduction to the F.Y.I. notes



Answers to Commonly asked ``Experienced Internet User'' Questions



FYI on ``What is the Internet?''



FYI on Questions and Answer Answers to Commonly asked ``New Internet User'' Questions



FYI on Questions and Answers Answers to Commonly asked New Internet User Questions

Current Meeting Report

Minutes of the User Services Working Group (USWG)
IETF - Washington, DC
November 1999

Recorded by April Marine.

The USWG meet on Monday, Nov 8, 1999. The final agenda (after bashing) included:

Area Update:

We had many first-time IETF attendees at this WG, so we started with a bit of an overview of what the User Services area is and isn't.

One RFC was published from the User Services Area (USV) since the last IETF: RFC 2664, FYI 4 "New User FAQ". This is a product of the USWG working group.

The RUN working group has been working on its "Make Enemies Fast" draft: <draft-ietf-run-adverts-02.txt>. This deals with responsible advertising on the net.

The WEIRD working group is not currently working on drafts; it is developing web pages.

TERENA news:

Yuri Demchenko of TERENA gave an overview of user services related activities going on in TERENA (Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association). He highlighted the progress on the "Guide to Network Resource Tools," now available in a "2000 Edition" from AWL/Pearson Education. He also provided follow-up information on projects he has talked about in the past (e.g. CHIC and CHIP) and noted two upcoming conferences. Please see his slides for details.

Mea Culpas:

There were two or three action items from the last meeting that did not get done. One of which was April's action to update the FYI1-update draft to incorporate and move it along. Did not get done (mea culpa), but she promises to do it soon.

Second, the volunteer editor/coordinator for the update to FYI 7, which is the group's main current action item, Ray Plzak, broke his wrist and has hardly been able to type! So action on that item was stalled, although again April is partly to blame as she was sharing that action and was totally able-bodied the whole time.

FYI 7 Update:

FYI 7 is RFC 1207, the FAQ for more experienced users and the companion to the recently update FYI 4. During the update of FYI 4, many items were punted to FYI 7. Ray described the method he is using to put together an initial draft/outline. He will send that version to the list and at that point people can start helping by filling in content. He is dividing topics into "things users see" and "behind the scenes stuff" (only more formally worded). He is also using a keyword system so it will be easy to do a glossary. We'll have a draft with content certainly by the next meeting.

Tao Update:

FYI 17, RFC 1718, "The Tao of the IETF" is also one of our actions to update. We are not late with this, but we are running late. IETF Secretariat sees this as an action for them since they use the Tao as a new-IETFer guide. Especially, they wish to keep the tone of the current document. Gary Malkin agreed to do a draft for Steve Coya to review. The level of detail desired for the new draft is not quite clear, but having something for the Secretariat to pound on would be helpful (we thought). Gary said he could probably do this by January or so.

Code of Conduct doc:

Susan Harris alerted the group that she is working on a doc for the POISSON group that somewhat overlaps the Tao. It is currently <draft-odell-code-of-conduct-01.txt>, which POISSON decided needed a re-write before going forward. Susan thought the "be prepared" section especially related to the Tao (it discusses work to do before attending the IETF). She let us know that information about this draft would appear on the poisson list. She will send information about the list to this WG list so that those interested may monitor that draft as well. The question arose as to whether the Tao and the Code of conduct docs need to be separate; the feeling was that they address different audiences.

There was also a passing reference to the need to better capture Internet Folklore. Whenever someone comes up with a "new idea" that has been discussed and eventually dismissed periodically in the past, they are told to "read the archives." This turns out to be rather difficult to actually do, however. Possibly some of these recurring themes could be captured as a more convenient reference. Interesting idea, but the group did not really discuss it.

Disaster Networking:

Granger Kelley asked how someone would ask the IETF for help in getting a new service added to the net. He wants a means of allowing data related to emergency services to get priority over the net during a disaster. He and Hal Folts had worked up a short paper introducing what this idea and related it to components of the National Communications System. April asked him to email her the description he had done and she would share it with the IESG and see if anyone claimed the work (it was not a USV type thing as it involved priority routing and such). In general, that is how new work gets started in the IETF: it is presented to an AD, who can share it with the other ADs and if it is appropriate and timely, quite possibly a working group will be created, the work could fit into an existing group, and some work might already apply.

Final Question:

In response to the questions "anything else?" the question was asked: "Is the USWG the right place to come up with an IETF position on XXX?" (I actually forget the topic as the answer was "no.") It was felt that not only was USWG not the place, neither was USV nor even necessarily IETF. Someone mentioned the ISTF, the Internet Societal Task Force, which is a TF under the Internet Society designed to come up with input regarding policy questions. April said she'd try to find out a bit more about the ISTF (although we had a member attending) and send it to the list. Also, it was suggested that the question be asked at the plenary as, if anywhere, that was the place to bring it up rather than any individual WG. It was mentioned in addition that the plenary discussion of the wiretapping issue would be
a good indication of how the IETF handles policy-type issues.


TERENA News Update