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WG Review: TCP Maintenance and Minor Extensions (tcpm)



A new IETF working group has been proposed in the Transport Area. The IESG has not 
made any determination as yet. The following description was submitted, and is 
provided for informational purposes only.  Please send your comments to the IESG 
mailing list (iesg@ietf.org) by February 4th.

 TCP Maintenance and Minor Extensions (tcpm) 
 -------------------------------------------

 Current Status: Proposed Working Group

 Description:

         TCP is currently the Internet's predominant transport protocol.
         To maintain TCP's utility the IETF has regularly updated both
         the protocol itself and the congestion control algorithms
         implemented by the protocol that are crucial for the stability
         of the Internet. These changes reflect our evolving
         understanding of transport protocols, congestion control and new
         needs presented by an ever-changing network. The TCPM WG will
         provide a venue within the IETF to work on these issues. The WG
         will serve several purposes:

             * The WG will mostly focus on maintenance issues (e.g., bug
                 fixes) and modest changes to the protocol and algorithms
                 that maintain TCP's utility.

             * The WG will be a venue for moving current TCP specifications
                 along the standards track (as community energy is available
                 for such efforts).

             * The WG will write a document that outlines "what is TCP".
                 This document will be a roadmap of sorts to the various TCP
                 specifications in the RFC series.

         TCPM will take a subset of the work which has been conducted in
         the Transport Area WG over the past several years.
         Specifically, some of the WG's initial work will be moved from
         the Transport Area WG (tsvwg).

         TCPM is expected to be the working group within the IETF to
         handle TCP changes. Proposals for additional TCP work items
         should be brought up within the working group. While
         fundamental changes to TCP or its congestion control algorithms
         (e.g., departure from loss-based congestion control) should be
         brought through TCPM, it is expected that such large changes
         will ultimately be handled by the Transport Area WG (tsvwg).
         All additional work items for TCPM will, naturally, require the
         approval of the Transport Services Area Area Directors and the
         IESG. 

         TCP's congestion control algorithms are the model followed by
         alternate transports (e.g., SCTP and (in some cases) DCCP). In
         addition, the IETF has recently worked on several documents
         about algorithms that are specified for multiple protocols
         (e.g., TCP and SCTP) in the same document. Which WG shepherds
         such documents in the future will determined on a case-by-case
         basis. In any case, the TCPM WG will remain in close contact
         with other relevant WGs working on these protocols to ensure
         openness and stringent review from all angles.