Internet Engineering Task Force

The Internet Engineering Task Force (abbreviated IETF) "is a loosely self-organized group of people who contribute to the engineering and evolution of Internet technologies. It is the principal body engaged in the development of new Internet standard specifications. The IETF is unusual in that it exists as a collection of happenings, but is not a corporation and has no board of directors, no members, and no dues. Its mission includes:
  • Identifying, and proposing solutions to, pressing operational and technical problems in the Internet;
  • Specifying the development or usage of protocols and the near-term architecture to solve such technical problems for the Internet;
  • Making recommendations to the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) regarding the standardization of protocols and protocol usage in the Internet;
  • Facilitating technology transfer from the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) to the wider Internet community; and
  • Providing a forum for the exchange of information within the Internet community between vendors, users, researchers, agency contractors, and network managers.
The IETF meeting is not a conference, although there are technical presentations. The IETF is not a traditional standards organization, although many specifications are produced that become standards. The IETF is made up of volunteers, many of whom meet three times a year to fulfill the IETF mission." - from The Tao of IETF, from which quotes that follow are also drawn:

Internet Governance

"The core registrar for the IETF's activities is the IANA", Internet Assigned Names Authority. "Many Internet protocols require that someone keep track of protocol items that were added after the protocol came out. Typical examples of the kinds of registries needed are for TCP port numbers and MIME types." Authorities believe that typed links will require similar registration, see linkas.

"The IAB has designated the IANA organization to perform these tasks, and the IANA's activities are financially supported by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers."

[+] types of RFCs

RFCs are never revised.

"Once an RFC is published, it is never revised. If the standard it describes changes, the standard will be re-published in another RFC that "obsoletes" the first. One of the most popular misconceptions in the IETF community is that the role of the RFC Editor is performed by IANA. In fact, the RFC Editor is a separate job, although both the RFC Editor and IANA involved the same people for many years. The IAB approves the organization that will act as RFC Editor and the RFC Editor's general policy. The RFC Editor is funded by ISOC and can be contacted by e-mail at rfc-ed at rfc-editor.org"

[+] Working groups and BOFs

[+] How to contribute to the IETF

IETF liaisons with another standards body

"There are many (perhaps too many) other standards organizations whose decisions affect the Internet. There are also a fair number of standards bodies who ignored the Internet for a long time and now want to get a piece of the action... many other bodies have very different structures than the IETF, and the IETF is mostly run by volunteers who would probably prefer to write standards rather than meet with representatives from other bodies. Even so, some other standards bodies make a great effort to interact well with the IETF despite the obvious cultural differences." The Internet Architecture Board oversees IETF liaisons with other standards bodies.

"The IESG" also "has some liaisons with large standards bodies, including the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), the W3C, the Unicode Consortium, the ATM Forum, and ISO-IEC/JTC1 (The Joint Technical Committee of the International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission)." The list of IETF liaisons shows that there are many different liaisons to ISO-IEC/JTC1 subcommittees.