The purpose of the IETF Tools Team is to provide IETF feedback and guidance during the development of software tools to support various parts of IETF activities.
Henrik Levkowetz is chair of the tools team and is putting a lot of effort into this activity. See http://tools.ietf.org/members for a full list of team members.
The first tool the team has considered is an Internet Draft (ID) submission tool. With this in place, other tools will follow, as listed in the milestones on http://tools.ietf.org/charter-page
It is not the team’s task to do the actual development – however, the team understands the tool development process, and has the ability to formulate and communicate the IETF’s needs with respect to the individual tools. It is also not prohibited for team members to actively develop tool implementations.
An inventory of all IETF tools written by other developers is available on the tools site. All scripts written by the tools team are freely available and can be downloaded.
The WG-status pages http://tools.ietf.org/wg/ is a one-stop shop for all active or concluded WGs. This tool is a great entry point to other useful tools. It lists the status of each WG along with a pointer to the mailing list archives. One can also find the history of each WG document and the diffs between each version of a document. It produces HTML versions of each document allowing for easy navigation through Internet Drafts. Auto-converted PDF versions are available for those who prefer this format for easy printing. It is also planned to set up a Wiki for each WG for them to use as they wish.
Another useful tool is the agenda tool. As an example, the IETF 64 agenda is available at: http://tools.ietf.org/agenda/64/.
It shows the meeting agenda with all WG and BoF meetings and pointers to the agendas and document status of each WG as available. It is updated every five minutes based on the submissions sent to the IETF mailing list. It also contains instructions on how to join a jabber room. This allows people to follow discussions during the meetings remotely. The tools team is currently working on a plug-in for iCalendar.
There are a number of new tools in progress, one of the most interesting for the wider IETF community being the ‘Build-your-own-notifications’ tool. This tool receives notifications of new Internet Drafts, changes in document status, new BoFs and WGs. Anybody can create their own pages based on specific criteria (e.g. ‘notify me of all activities in a certain IETF area’). One can chose to be notified by e-mail or to create an html page. This will make it much easier for the community to follow developments in the IETF.
Before this tool can be provided, all notifications have to be converted into XML. Once this is done, it will be easier for people to build their own tools.
See http://www1.tools.ietf.org/wiki for more tools in progress.