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Good faith & protocol changes

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 19:08:53 PDT
To: "Yaron Goland (Exchange)" <yarong@exchange.microsoft.com>
Cc: "'WebDAV'" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000401bf017a$c164a660$8b67010d@copper.parc.xerox.com>
> This exact same question, regarding moves and locks, came up in the past and
> the group consensus was that we should not allow locks to MOVE with
> resources. To revoke this decision is to pull the rug out of implementers
> who took WebDAV in good faith. This is exactly the sort of behavior which
> makes some many companies wary of dealing with the IETF. The rules change
> too often.

I suppose it's necessary to repeat this in every working group.
The IETF rules for "Proposed Standard" are very clear and explicit. The
rule hasn't changed. From RFC 2026:

   Implementors should treat Proposed Standards as immature
   specifications. It is desirable to implement them in order to gain
   experience and to validate, test, and clarify the specification.
   However, since the content of Proposed Standards may be changed if
   problems are found or better solutions are identified, deploying
   implementations of such standards into a disruption-sensitive
   environment is not recommended.

Those who choose to implement and ship product based on Proposed Standard
do so to gain the advantage of early market entry, against the risk
that product changes might be necessary. I don't believe that changes
from Proposed Standard should be made lightly or without good reason,
but it is not "bad faith" to consider changes based on experience with
the protocol.

The ability to update protocols between Proposed and Draft Standard
based on experience is a strength, not a weakness, of the IETF process.
WebDAV is at an early stage of development and deployment, compared
to what we will see in the future.

Don't avoid doing the right thing just because some early implementors
want to avoid shipping an update to their beta customers.

Larry
-- 
http://www.parc.xerox.com/masinter
Received on Friday, 17 September 1999 22:08:52 GMT

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