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Obsoleted by: 7154 BEST CURRENT PRACTICE

Network Working Group                                          S. Harris
Request for Comments: 3184                                 Merit Network
BCP: 54                                                     October 2001
Category: Best Current Practice


                      IETF Guidelines for Conduct

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document provides a set of guidelines for personal interaction
   in the Internet Engineering Task Force.  The Guidelines recognize the
   diversity of IETF participants, emphasize the value of mutual
   respect, and stress the broad applicability of our work.

1. Introduction

   The work of the IETF relies on cooperation among a broad cultural
   diversity of peoples, ideas, and communication styles.  The
   Guidelines for Conduct inform our interaction as we work together to
   develop multiple, interoperable technologies for the Internet.  All
   IETF participants aim to abide by these Guidelines as we build
   consensus in person, at IETF meetings, and in e-mail.  If conflicts
   arise, we resolve them according to the procedures outlined in BCP
   25.[1]

2. Principles of Conduct

   1. IETF participants extend respect and courtesy to their colleagues
      at all times.

      IETF participants come from diverse origins and backgrounds and
      are equipped with multiple capabilities and ideals.  Regardless of
      these individual differences, participants treat their colleagues
      with respect as persons--especially when it is difficult to agree
      with them.  Seeing from another's point of view is often
      revealing, even when it fails to be compelling.




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RFC 3184              IETF Guidelines for Conduct           October 2001


      English is the de facto language of the IETF, but it is not the
      native language of many IETF participants.  Native English
      speakers attempt to speak clearly and a bit slowly and to limit
      the use of slang in order to accommodate the needs of all
      listeners.

   2. IETF participants develop and test ideas impartially, without
      finding fault with the colleague proposing the idea.

      We dispute ideas by using reasoned argument, rather than through
      intimidation or ad hominem attack.  Or, said in a somewhat more
      IETF-like way:

            "Reduce the heat and increase the light"

   3. IETF participants think globally, devising solutions that meet the
      needs of diverse technical and operational environments.

      The goal of the IETF is to maintain and enhance a working, viable,
      scalable, global Internet, and the problems we encounter are
      genuinely very difficult.  We understand that "scaling is the
      ultimate problem" and that many ideas quite workable in the small
      fail this crucial test.  IETF participants use their best
      engineering judgment to find the best solution for the whole
      Internet, not just the best solution for any particular network,
      technology, vendor, or user.  We follow the intellectual property
      guidelines outlined in BCP 9.[2]

   4. Individuals who attend Working Group meetings are prepared to
      contribute to the ongoing work of the group.

      IETF participants who attend Working Group meetings read the
      relevant Internet-Drafts, RFCs, and e-mail archives beforehand, in
      order to familiarize themselves with the technology under
      discussion.  This may represent a challenge for newcomers, as e-
      mail archives can be difficult to locate and search, and it may
      not be easy to trace the history of longstanding Working Group
      debates.  With that in mind, newcomers who attend Working Group
      meetings are encouraged to observe and absorb whatever material
      they can, but should not interfere with the ongoing process of the
      group.  Working Group meetings run on a very limited time
      schedule, and are not intended for the education of individuals.
      The work of the group will continue on the mailing list, and many
      questions would be better expressed on the list in the months that
      follow.






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3. Security Considerations

   IETF participants review each Internet protocol for security
   concerns, and these concerns are incorporated in the description of
   each protocol.

4. Acknowledgements

   Mike O'Dell wrote the first draft of the Guidelines for Conduct, and
   many of his thoughts, statements, and observations are included in
   this version.  Many useful editorial comments were supplied by Dave
   Crocker.  Members of the POISSON Working Group provided many
   significant additions to the text.

5. References

   [1] Bradner, S., "IETF Working Group Guidelines and Procedures",
       BCP 25, RFC 2418, September 1998.

   [2] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3",
       BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

6. Author's Address

   Susan Harris
   Merit Network, Inc.
   4251 Plymouth Rd., Suite 2000
   Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2785

   EMail: srh@merit.edu
   Phone: (734) 936-2100




















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7. Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001).  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
   the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
   copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than
   English.

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an
   "AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING
   TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING
   BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION
   HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
   MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Acknowledgement

   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.



















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