2.9.1 User Services (uswg)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 50th IETF Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It may now be out-of-date. Last Modified: 14-Mar-01


April Marine <april.marine@nominum.com>

User Services Area Director(s):

April Marine <april.marine@nominum.com>

User Services Area Advisor:

April Marine <april.marine@nominum.com>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion:uswg@isc.org
To Subscribe: uswg-request@isc.org
Archive: http://www.isc.org/ml-archives/uswg/2000/maillist.html

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 User Services Working Group Meeting
March 19, 2001
Minneapolis, MN

taken by: April Marine

1. User Services Area update - April Marine

Several working group in USV have closed.
- WEIRD has closed. It seemed to be an experiment that did not work.
- FYIUP closed, although it never really opened, so that was basically bookkeeping.
- RUN has its last document regarding responsible advertsing in the RFC Editor queue. Once that's published, it will close.

So now USWG is the only WG in USV! We have the opportunity, if people wish, to spin up working groups to deal with various documents, as was done in the past. That's something to think about as we discuss what's going on in the group.

Also, USWG will take one or two docs from POISSON if they are definitely user oriented (vs. policy oriented). The first will be Paul Hoffman's "What is the IETF?" doc. Other docs may be directed here vs. there.

2. TERENA update - Yuri Demchenko

- The Guide to Network Reseach Tools (GNRT) edition #3 is online in trial mode. See www.terena.nl/gnrt/.

A few months ago there was some thought about changing name of the GNRT, but when it got to the web, we kept the old name because it is easy to say and remember. TERENA is now in discussions with the publishers regarding the print version of the GNRT and possibly there will be a name change for that edition.

Changes in the GNRT include re-arranging to make content clearer and logical for readers.

New infoformation is included on metadata and RDF (Resource Description Format) and XML and java/interactive web tools. The security section is also extended to include more information on computer security incident response. There is related activity in TERENA re CSIRT coordination and some has extended to IETF area. The IETF Security Area publised a documnet on incident exchange format requirements via the GRIP WG.

Everyone is invited to check out the GNRT and comment. The trial period is until April 20. Afterward, TERENA will continue to talk to publishers and make the final version.

Other TERENA efforts going on include:

- Portal coordination workshop
a follow on to the Clearinghouse for Internet-related Projects in Europe effort
The workshop is in June and will cover a lot of tech data.
- multilingual i18n in TERENA tech program
- European multilingual requirements

3. Tao of IETF doc - Susan Harris

Susan gives many thanks to Paul Hoffman and others who have provided input to the Tao. The Tao is in its last stages. Susan gave an overview of the document, which has some sections for particular audiences, e.g. the press. She also added a security considerations section.

There were few comments, but it was agreed to ping the Secretariat explicitly as they hadn't said anything one way or another.

4. FYI 7 draft - Ray Plzak

Ray had a draft, which he stepped through during the meeting.

It had 19 questions. The desire is to keep it fairly short.

Since this is the first pulled together draft, it is easy to see that different contributors had different ideas of the level of the audience. That needs to be leveled out.

Some discussion of who the audience should be. FYI 4 was the "grandma test." Agreed this should be the "teen test" (e.g. nephew/niece :).

Is the must/should language needed? No, probably not, so can drop that reference.

Further notes on this topic in more or less random, stream of consciousness order. Some action items in there.

- What is a mailing list? More discussion of "majordomo" in particular given. Too long...add references? but then you'll lose some and people will complain a generic simple description, e.g. send "help" and get directions.

- Then come "how does www work" again, keeping it simple. (This section was deemed somewhat too simple.)

- What is chat? what is IM? FYI 4 talks about chat, but it's mentioned here again...keep chat and reword IM?

- FTP-- most people use it behind something, might restrict it to "anonymous FTP" so that if someone sees an error re authentication, they are not surprised.

- pkzip? is that free or shareware? dunno. make section more generic.

- IP address? What is an IP address? April to re-write...needs to include IPv6.

- Games? Bring from fyi4? No, drop games from doc.

- add "actually" to last packet example.
or add "this is a confusing term".

- router - introduces protocol stack concept, which isn't covered
add something about layering?
what is a "layer" do before what is a packet ** open question: add? if so, where?

- routing - too long to review in group. is ICMP defined?

- how is a connection made between two computers on the net? also in fyi 4

- What is DNS? "Atlas" definition needs to be fixed.
Distinction of host vs. domain names should be changed.
Michael Patton volunteers to rewrite.

- "the other TLDs" text - should be re-worked.

- next section: How does DNS work? Patton disagrees with text. Need resolver in the picture.

Michael Patton to take a shot at this as well.

- Add examples for IP.

- What about in-addr.arpa? add or No?

- Do we need "intranet" and "tunneling"?

- Security - make less us centric. Ask non-us people, e.g. eu, nz, au folks.

5. User Glossary update - Gary Malkin

The user glossary is quite old and out of date, so we want to update it.

The current ID is mostly the same as the existing RFC, but with some tweaks.

Please send changes!

The most important things needed are to go thru and update the obsolete stuff, e.g. orgaanizations that don't exist or that have changes. Also need to add new technology and acronyms.

One topic that came up for discussion at the last meeting that we need to resolve: some of the entries have explicit acknowledgements because some of the doc was taken from one or two key sources. But the last two revisions have tweaked that. So maybe strip those individual specific references, and keep in reference section in back. Agreed.

Also agreed to keep references to older organizations as their acronyms will pop up or be found in reading and i is good to have a place to find them.

6. EDI Meets the Internet: RFC 1865 - Walt Houser

This is an older doc from the EDI WG, which was aimed at EDI folks to inform them about the Internet and what it could do for them. It needs updating. The EDI list still uses this RFC as their FAQ.

The technology and what people are doing has changed.

Walt to do an ID. Does group think it worthy? Yes. Put out a revised ID and make sure to coordinate updates with TRADE WG, which is the follow on to the EDI group.


None received.