The 85th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) begins next week in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Over 1000 engineers, maybe as many as 1400 or more, from all around the world will gather in various working groups to discuss and debate issues relating to the open standards that define the Internet's infrastructure. Much of the IETF standards work happens within mailing lists and through submitted "Internet-Draft" documents, but these face-to-face meetings that occur three times each year provide an opportunity for rapid discussion of contentious issues and for bringing people together to move work forward.
As is always the case, the IETF meeting will feature groups focusing on pretty much all the various technical aspects of Internet infrastructure: IPv6, DNS, DHCP, security, VoIP, SIP, WebRTC, routing, "Internet of Things", P2P, HTTP, TCP, video conferencing, congestion control, energy management… basically pick any Internet protocol acronym and you'll probably find some group there talking about the topic. If you just scan down the IETF 85 agenda, you will get a sense of the breadth of topics being covered.
If you can't get to Atlanta next week to participate face-to-face, the good news is that the IETF provides a variety of ways that you can participate remotely in the meetings. I recently wrote up instructions that you may find useful: How To Participate In IETF 85 Remotely.
Out of this meeting, new standards will emerge, new drafts will be created, new efforts will be started… and the multistakeholder open standards process that drives the Internet will continue. If you get a chance, the IETF meetings are open to anyone to attend — and anyone can also follow along remotely.
P.S. If you have not had any prior exposure to the IETF, you may want to first read The Tao of IETF: A Novice's Guide to the Internet Engineering Task Force to understand a bit more about how it all works.
By Dan York, Author and Speaker on Internet technologies. Dan is employed as a Senior Content Strategist with the Internet Society but opinions posted on CircleID are entirely his own. Visit the blog maintained by Dan York here.
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