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The IETF: laying the Net's asphalt

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1 Author(s)

Since its inception in 1986, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has helped drive Internet standards. Its guiding principle of “rough consensus and working code” has produced standards like TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), IP (Internet Protocol), and HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol). Companies widely adhere to these standards, yet the IETF has no authority to enforce them. Although initially funded by the National Science Foundation, the IETF has no official backing from the US Government; there is no policy requiring software or hardware to follow IETF-developed standards. So why do approximately 1600 people show up at a typical IETF meeting, and why do even large companies, which could well afford the effort to establish their own de facto standards, develop products in accordance with IETF standards? It all boils down to interoperability

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 8 )