IESG Action Spotlight - Page 2

By Pete Loshin | Posted Mar 21, 2001
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For another approach to instant messaging, the SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging (SIMPLE) working group was also chartered in the Applications Area to apply the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), defined in RFC 2543, to Instant Messaging and Presence (IMP) applications.

Where the focus of the APEX group is on low latency, the focus of the SIMPLE group is on the use of a protocol (SIP) that is widely deployed and supported as well as relatively mature. Both groups will be working on the same basic problem: defining a set of interoperable standards for instant messaging and presence applications. While it is possible that the APEX group's solution will be a special one for low-latency applications, it is also possible that one or the other approach will eventually be deemed superior. That is the whole point of IETF working groups - to develop options and see which is best.

Table: New Working Groups: February 23 - March 15, 2001
Working Group Abbreviation
Application Exchange APEX
SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging SIMPLE
Site Multihoming in IPv6 MULTI6

It's History
The IESG approved publication of an Internet Draft that states: "During a review of internet standards, it was brought to the attention of the IESG that the ARPANET Host-IMP protocol, was still listed as an Internet Standard, STD 39. Since this protocol has not been in use in the public internet for well over a decade, the IESG proposes to reclassify it to historic." The rest of the document is fairly standard boilerplate and abstract.

An Interface Message Processor, or IMP, was a device that switched packets for the ARPANET network. An IMP was an early version of an IP router, capable of connecting groups of nodes with other groups of nodes. BBN Report 1822, describing the Host-IMP protocol, is not available online, but according to Douglas E. Comer (in "Internetworking with TCP/IP" volume 1, page 38) the 1822 protocol was a complex protocol that allowed reliable, flow-controlled data delivery across the ARPANET. Though it has not been relevant for many years, it represents an important step in the development of the Internet as we know it.

What's Next
IETF 50 starts on March 18 in Minneapolis, and the seasonal flood of Internet-Drafts finally ended on March 9. Over 1200 new I-Ds have been submitted since IETF 49, last December.

Pete Loshin, founder of Internet-Standard.com, is the author of 24 books and frequently consults on Internet standards issues.

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