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IETF 15 November 2019

IETF 106 Begins Nov 16 in Singapore – Here is how you can participate remotely in building open Internet standards

Dan York
By Dan YorkDirector of Web Strategy

Starting Saturday, November 16, 2019, the 106th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) will begin in Singapore. Over 1,000 engineers from around the world will gather in the convention center to join together in the debates and discussions that will advance the open standards that make the Internet possible. They are gathered, in the words of the IETF mission, “to make the Internet work better“.

Pick your protocol – the future of DNS, DOH, TLS, HTTP(S), QUIC, SIP, TCP, IPv6, ACME, NTP… and many, many more will be debated in the rooms and hallways over the next week.

What if you cannot be IN Singapore?

If you are not able to physically be in Singapore this week, the good news is you can participate remotely! The IETF website explains the precise steps you need to do. To summarize quickly:

  1. Register as a remote participant. There is no cost.
  2. Review the agenda to figure out which sessions you want to join. (I will note that there are some very interesting (to me!) Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) sessions at IETF 106.)
  3. Choose the channel(s) you will use to participate, including:
  4. Join the mailing list for the working group(s) you are interested in. While the face-to-face meeting in Singapore will have discussion, the working group mailing list is where the activity is finalized. By clicking on the working group name in the IETF 106 agenda you can find out how to join the group’s mailing list.

Again, the IETF 106 Remote Participation page has more details.

Also, watch the IETF blog, as updates are sometimes posted there (such as this post about IETF BOF sessions).

Do note that the time in Singapore is UTC+8 (this time zone conversion tool may help). For me based in the US Eastern time zone, that means many of the sessions will happen in the middle of my night. (So yes, dear DNS Operations (DNSOP) friends, this means odds are pretty good you will NOT see me online for the Thursday morning meeting as it will be 12:30am where I live! 😏)

If you find it helpful, the IETF provides an IETF 106 agenda with UTC times.

If you have never participated in an IETF meeting before

… I would suggest you review these materials first:

And then really look through the materials provided for each of the sessions you want to attend. The IETF 106 agenda has pointers to all the necessary slides and other documents. (Try the first “X” icon on the right side of the screen in the row for the working group.)

One important note I always mention to first-time attendees – you are entering conversations that are already in progress! With the exception of BOFs, all the other Working Group sessions are face-to-face discussions that continue discussion and debate from the working group email lists. There are typically no introduction tutorials or anything… you are just entering into the middle of the ongoing work of the Working Group! It can be disorienting at times because you may have no idea what people are talking about. This is why it is helpful to review the agenda and learn what documents will be discussed so that you can read those in advance.

That’s it!

With those few steps, you, too, can join with the thousands of engineers around the world at IETF 106 in the work of building open Internet standards, and helping to “make the Internet work better”.

See you online!


Image credit: a photo I took of the “supertrees” in the “Gardens by the Bay” when I attended an event in Singapore in 2013. You can view a larger set of photos. The supertrees may (or may not) have changed dramatically in the 6 years since I took these photos.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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