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IESG Quick Links and Semi-Complete Guide

Notice an omission or error? Please work with the IESG and edit this page.

Most-used Wiki pages

  • OffDuty - when are you on vacation?
  • UpcomingIetf - booking the IESG breakout room and showing arrival times
  • RetreatInfo - information about the upcoming IESG retreat
    • MeetingTopics - Suggested topics for the next face-to-face meeting

Meeting with Leaders of other Standards Bodies

Some Things We're Currently Working On

  • DraftBoilerplateChange - A draft of a change to the boilerplate for cases where we are publishing something (such as documentation of a vendor-specific mechanism) where the community has consensus to publish, but consensus on the content doesn't make sense.
  • DraftShepherdWriteupWgAlternate - A new proposal for a radical change to the shepherd writeup, as discussed at IETF 84. This is a version that strips out all the yes/no sorts of things and instead asks for a paragraph or two of information in each of five categories.




Getting Started as an AD

An IESG Charter, RFC 3710 (2004)

First Steps

  • Work with the secretariat to verify that you are set up as an AD with the various tools. Your existing tools login is used for most things, most importantly the datatracker. You should also get a login/password pair from the secretariat for the ARO tools, and a separate pair from the RFC Editor for working with errata.
  • Ask the current IESG members if that's the complete list of passwords - update the above bullet if it isn't.
  • Join a bunch of MailingLists.

General AD Responsibilities:

Document Sponsoring and Telechat Information:

Other Intros

Driving Lessons for the I-D Tracker

What we call the "IESG Tracker" is actually the Area Director's window into the IETF-wide ID-Tracker. It was introduced in May 2002, and was a huge advance in our awareness of document status and progress.

Use the tracker to:

The Ballot Process in General

When a draft has an open ballot each AD can cast a vote, and the options available are:


There's more detail about what these mean at voting-procedures, SingleDiscussResolution and InfoExpProcedures for non-standards track and RFC Editor submissions. An AD can change his or her vote up to a late stage, i.e. during the telechat at which the document is finally approved. However, it's much better to cast your ballot early. If an AD hasn't had time to review a draft but really feels the need to do so (i.e. is unwilling to state NO OBJECTION without further ado), it's possible to DEFER the draft to the next telechat - once only. Most ADs feel bad if they have to do this.

The Role of Document Shepherds

RFC 4858 defines the role of the Document Shepherd for documents from IETF working groups, and it also says:

The Document Shepherd is usually a chair of the working group that
has produced the document.  In consultation with the Responsible Area
Director, the chairs may instead decide to appoint the working group
secretary as the responsible Document Shepherd.

Experience has shown that a successful Document Shepherd need not be the working group chair or secretary. In fact, the IESG encourages the working group chair to select an active working group participant that has strong understanding of the document content, is familiar with the document history, and is familiar with the IETF standards process. The Document Shepherd of a working group document should not be an author or editor of the document.

Not all individual submissions have a Document Shepherd other than an author or editor of the document. When there is one, the Document Shepherd is selected by the Responsible Area Director in consultation with the document authors or editors.

The main duties of a Document Shepherd are:

  • Providing the Document Shepherd Write-Up accompanying a document that is forwarded to the IESG when publication is requested.
  • During AD Evaluation of the document by the responsible Area Director, managing the discussion between the editors, the working group and the responsible Area Director.
  • During the IETF Last Call, if required for the document, managing the discussion between the reviewers, the editors, the working group and the Responsible Area Director.
  • During IESG evaluation, following up on all IESG feedback ("DISCUSS" and "COMMENT" items) related to the shepherded document.
  • Following up on IANA and RFC Editor requests after IESG approval.

The Document Shepherd prepares a publication request write-up. The template for the write-up can be found here:

For working group documents:

For individual documents:

DISCUSSes and How They Get Resolved

The DISCUSS ballot is the way for an AD to state an issue that prevents him or her from agreeing that a document is ready. A DISCUSS is not a binary vote - as its name suggests, it is a statement of what the AD has found wrong with a draft, preferably also a statement of how it could be fixed, and the trigger for a constructive discussion to resolve it as quickly as possible. Here is more information about DiscussResolving.

Processes for Uncommon Stuff

Non-Working-Group Mailing Lists

Non-working-group mailing lists are used for various sorts of discussions, including:

  • Directorates and review teams
  • Review lists specified in IANA procedures
  • Discussions with the intent to form a working group
  • Discussions for a subtask of a working group

The list of non-working-group mailing lists is here:

Scroll to the bottom of that page for instructions for creating a new one.

Working with Other Groups

These links are to wiki pages describing IESG working relationships with:

More groups with special relationships to the IESG:

Liaison relationships

The formal responsibility for handling liaisons and especially liaisons relations with external standard bodies are on IAB. However an AD will commonly be in the path for handling liaison statements and especially replies to received ones. The general process for handling liaisons are specified in RFC4053.

The IAB procedure for handling liaison responsibilities are documented in RFC4052. This includes creating formal relations and appoint liaison to bodies or liaison managers.

Working with the RFC Editor

IESG members need to work closely with the RFC Editor, and track interactions with the RFC Editor. The main tasks include:

Ensuring that the RFC Editor notes in the approved documents are correct. Often the discuss-clearing involves changing or adding text, and the most expedient way of handling small updates is the use of RFC Editor notes.

Ensuring that the changes suggested by authors in AUTH48 fall under editorial class, and authorizing other changes where needed. Sometimes significant changes are attempted at this stage for various reasons. The right response in such cases is typically taking the draft back to the working group and going through the WGLC, LC, and IESG approval again.

The IESG needs to perform a RFC 5742 check against documents submitted to the RFC Editor directly. A separate note regarding this process can be found here: IesgRfceditorSubmissions.

Useful Mailing Lists or Addresses

<wg>-chairs@… - mail the chairs of <wg>

<area>-chairs@… - mail all the chairs of <area> ("<area>" is one of app, gen, int, ops, rai, rtg, sec, tsv)

<ad-name>-chairs@… - mail all the chairs of WGs for which <ad-name> is responsible (john-smith-chairs, for example)

<wg>-ads@… - mail the ADs of <wg>; note that this is the same as <area>-ads for the area in which <wg> resides... it does not send mail only to the AD responsible for <wg>

<area>-ads@… - mail the ADs of <area> ("<area>" is one of app, gen, int, ops, rai, rtg, sec, tsv)

irtf-announce@… - IRTF announcement list, including progress reports for the different reserach groups.

tools-discuss@… - The mailing list for IETF Tools announcements and discussion.


The IESG has a private Web site, which is mostly obsoleted by this Wiki.

The IETF Chair has a demanding ChairTimeline to plan IETF meetings.

C code in I-Ds should do bound checking. The exception is when the code is a fragment and it's clear that it's a fragment. In that case a prominent note in the module needs to say "this is a code fragment, when this fragment is implemented as part of [insert_protocol_name] implement bound checking".

Wiki page for LegacyErrataHandling.

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