Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an open global community of network
designers, operators, vendors, and researchers producing technical
specifications for the evolution of the Internet architecture and the
smooth operation of the Internet.
RFC 3233; Defining the IETF; P. Hoffman, S. Bradner; Feb 2002.
Engineering Task Force (IETF) was created in 1986 by the Internet
Architecture Board. It consists of Internet administrators, designers,
vendors, researchers, and individuals interested in the evolution of the Internet
architecture, and is responsible for improvement
of the Internet technology protocols and standards.
The culture of the IETF has
been open and informal, an influence taken from its predecessor, the Network
Working Group. For example, their voting members are selected according
process to guarentee unbaised selections, as described in Publicly Verifiable
Nominations Committee (NomCom) Random Selection, RFC
The first IETF meeting
was held in January, 1986 in San Diego, and had 15 attendees. The seventh meeting
was hosted by the MITRE corporation in McLean, Virginia, in July, 1987, and
more than 100 attendees. The fourteenth meeting was hosted by Stanford
University in July, 1989, and led the Internet Architecture Board to consolidate
many task forces into the IETF and the IRTF.
The first IETF meeting held in Europe was in Amsterdam in July, 1993.
The IETF studies operational
and technical problems with the Internet, specifies protocols and architectural
solutions, and makes recommendations to its steering committee,
the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Most of the work done by the IETF is performed by several working groups, each interested in a particular Internet topic and led by a working group chair. Working groups often document their work in one or more Request
For Comments, which sometimes go on to become standards that help define how
the Internet works.
also facilitates technology transfer from the Internet
Research Task Force, and provides a forum for the exchange of information
between Internet vendors, users, researchers, contractors, and managers.
With the continued increase in the scale and technical complexity of the Internet,
the IETF went through some growing pains adjusting to the similar increase
in their own responsibilities and challenges. In conformance with their open
members conducted a searching self-examination in 2002
and 2003 as documented in The IETF in the
Large: Administration and Execution, RFC
3716, and IETF Problem Statement, RFC
3774. Recommendations of a working group
to address the issues were described in IETF Problem Resolution Process,
Resources. The following Request For Comments
documents provide more information about the IETF:
1718; The IETF Secretariat, G. Malkin; The Tao of IETF -- A Guide for New Attendees of the Internet Engineering
Task Force; Nov. 1994; also published as
of the IETF
2028; R. Hovey, S. Bradner; The
Organizations Involved in the IETF Standards Process; Oct. 1996
2418; S. Bradner; IETF Working
Group Guidelines and Procedures; September 1998
3160; S. Harris; The Tao of IETF - A Novice's Guide to the Internet Engineering
Task Force; August 2001
3233; P. Hoffman,
S. Bradner; Defining the IETF; February
IETF; The IETF in the Large:
Administration and Execution; March 2004
3933; J. Klensin; S.
Dawkins; A Model for IETF Process
Experiments; November 2004
H. Alvestrand; A Mission Statement
for the IETF; October
The following resources also provide information about the IETF: