Process Oriented Tutorials

  • Newcomers Training

Description: This tutorial provides introductions to a number of aspects of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) history, structure and operations. It is presented the Sunday before every IETF meeting and, when possible, it's also provided in the local language where the meeting is taking place.

Scott Bradner, who revised and presented this tutorial at the IETF for many years, produced a series of bite-sized IETF introductory videos specifically designed for online viewing for his Harvard University Extension School class. The Harvard Extension School graciously agreed to close caption the videos and let the IETF make them available for general viewing. The YouTube playlist of these Newcomers Training videos can be found here.

Links to the recording of the newcomers tutorial as delivered at a recent IETF meeting can be found below.

Last time presented: Berlin, Germany at IETF 96
Watch the Recording: Newcomers Tutorial (English)
Link to slides: Newcomers Tutorial (English)

Newcomers Slides in Other Languages

  • Local Newcomers Training

Description: When the IETF meets where English is not the native language, the Edu Team often provides the Newcomers Tutorial in the local language. You can find Newcomer Tutorial slides in French, Mandarin, etc.

Last time presented: Yokohama Japan at IETF 94
Link to IETF 83 slides: Newcomer's Tutorial (French)
Link to IETF 94 slides: Newcomer's Tutorial (Japanese)

  • Bringing New Work into the IETF

Description: This session will provide information to IETF participants and leaders on how to bring new work into the IETF, including how to bring a document into an existing WG, how to organize a BoF, and how to form a new IETF WG. Although this information is intended to encourage participants to bring interesting new work into the IETF, the class will also cover the IPR and control implications of pursuing work within the IETF.

Last time presented: Quebec City, Canada at IETF 81
Link to slides: Bringing New Work to the IETF

  • Designing Privacy into Internet Protocols

    Description: Privacy, as with security, has received increasing attention over the last few years as the number of security incidents and privacy violations increased. While security guidance has been offered in RFC 3552 and has been part of the IETF education tutorial for many years privacy related guidance has only been available recently with the publication of RFC 6973. This tutorial aims to provide the audience a brief overview of the privacy threats that engineers may encounter during their protocol work.

    A core part of RFC 6973 is on offering guidance, i.e., a set of questions an engineer should ask himself or herself when designing new protocols or protocol extensions to take common privacy concerns into account.

    Last time presented: London, UK at IETF 89
    Link to slides: Designing Privacy into Internet Protocols

  • Document Editing and Shepherding

Description: We're pretty well used to having document shepherds by now. RFC 4858 talks about "Document Shepherding from Working Group Last Call to Publication", but there's a significant part of a document's life that happens before working group last call, starting at the time that a working group begins discussing a version of the idea that's been posted as an individual draft. This session will discuss the job of the document shepherd, the tasks that might be involved throughout a working group document's lifecycle from start to finish, and the potential for extending document shepherding into earlier stages in that lifecycle.

Last time presented:
Prague, Czech Republic at IETF 93
Link to slides: Document Editing and Shepherding

  • Document Lifecycle

Description: This tutorial offers an overview of producing documents in the IETF, from version 00 of an Internet-Draft to publication as an RFC. We will cover the working group process, and the required and suggested contents of an Internet-Draft, including information from IANA staff about writing IANA Considerations sections. We will walk through the lifecyle including authorship, WG draft, IETF Last Call, IESG evaluation, and what to expect during the RFC publication process. We will provide a set of helpful hints to authors about formatting rules and editorial policies that often improve the quality of the resulting documents. We will summarize the states of the RFC publication process and provide an opportunity to ask questions of RFC Editor staff.

Last time presented:
Taipei, Taiwan at IETF 82
Link to slides: Document Lifecycle

  • IETF Tools Training

Description: This tutorial is intended to help IETF participants to make use of the tools provided by the IETF tools team. There will be a short overview of each tool plus a demo of the essential functionality.

Last time presented: Toronto, ON, Canada at IETF 90
Download Recording: IETF Tools Tutorial
Link to slides: IETF Tools Tutorial
IETF Tools Tutorial One Page Handout



  • Introduction to centralized Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) management for distributed IP networks

Description: RADIUS (RFC 2865) and Diameter (RFC 6733) are two IETF standard protocols specified since early 2000s for providing remote and centralized Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) management in IP networks. This tutorial offers an overview of these two protocols, along with their similarities and differences. Examples of concrete AAA applications in everyday life of an Internet user will be used for illustration. The aim is to familiarize newcomers with RADIUS and Diameter as well as provide network/service operators with guidelines for selecting the appropriate AAA solution (including the various extensions).

Last time presented: London, England at IETF 89
Link to slides: Introduction to centralized Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) management for distributed IP networks
Link to recording: Intro to AAA

  • Introduction to xml2rfc

Description: xml2rfc is becoming increasingly popular as a way to produce Internet Drafts (and RFCs). This tutorial will introduce the markup language used in xml2rfc and describe a selection of the tools (both free and paid for) that can be used to create the marked up text and turn it into the finished document in normative ASCII, HTML for more elegant web usage or nroff as used for the RFC masters. The tutorial will start with a very brief introduction to XML markup for complete novices and will cover the usage of the 'processing instructions' that are available to control the appearance of the final document. The set of elements used in xml2rfc has been deliberately kept very small so that it is very easy to learn basic usage of the language. As a result there isn't always an obvious way to achieve certain effects so a number of useful 'tricks and tips' will be covered that provide the 'cliche' needed as solutions to Frequently Asked Questions and highlight some of the pitfalls so that editors can avoid having to tear out their hair just before draft deadline time. Using xml2rfc relieves draft editors of the need to think about the overhead of getting the boilerplate and overall format right, and provides automated bibliographies that reduce the pain of generating references to existing drafts, RFCs and some other standard document series. The RFC Editor is increasingly using xml2rfc as a way to generate the source of the published RFC so that providing xml2rfc source can help reduce the turnround time when a draft is being converted into an RFC.

Last time presented: Stockholm, Sweden at IETF 75
Link to slides: Introduction to xml2rfc

  • Presentation Skills

Description: Presenting at the IETF is different than most other venues. The combination of language differences, deeply technical topics, and varying goals makes for a unique challenge. In this presentation, we will describe some simple tips to help your IETF presentation be as effective as possible.

Last time presented: Honolulu, HI, USA at IETF 91
Link to slides: Presentation Skills


  • RFC Editors Training

Description: This class covers the basics required to produced a well formed RFC. Although hosted by the EDU Team, this class is typically taught by a member of the RFC Editor staff.

Last time presented: Hiroshima, Japan at IETF 76
Link to slides: RFCs and the RFC Editor: A Tutorial

  • Tools for Creating Internet Drafts and RFCs

Description:  This tutorial will cover NroffEdit and xml2rfc, two popular ways to produce Internet-Drafts. NroffEdit is a WYSIWYG nroff editor that comes with a template for quick creation of an Internet-Draft. We will cover the essential NROFF commands and demo the tool. For xml2rfc, the tutorial will include a brief introduction to XML for novices and will cover the usage of the 'processing instructions' that are available to control the appearance of the final document. Using xml2rfc relieves draft authors of the need to think about getting the boilerplate and overall format right, and provides citation libraries that reduce the pain of generating references to I-Ds, RFCs, and other document series.

Last time presented: Yokohama, Japan at IETF 94
Link to slides: Tools for Creating I-Ds and RFCs




  • Videos on IETF history, structure and operations

Description: The following videos provide introductions to a number of aspects of IETF history, structure and operations. Much of the material originated in the Newcomers Training presented the Sunday before every IETF meeting. Scott Bradner, who revised and presented this tutorial at the IETF for many years produced these videos for his Harvard University Extension School class CSCI E-45A The Cyber World: Hardware, Software, Networks, Security, and Management. Scott and co-instructor Benoit Gaucherin present this course along with its companion course CSCI E-45B The Cyber World: Governance, Threats, Conflict, Privacy, Identity, and Commerce annually. The Harvard Extension School graciously agreed to close caption the videos and let the IETF make them available for general viewing.

Link to videos: Newcomers Presentation

  • WG Leadership Training

Description: This session offers an introduction to IETF WG roles and processes for current or aspiring WG chairs, document editors and technical leaders.

Last time presented:
Dallas, TX at IETF 92
Link to slides: WG Leadership Tutorial


  • Writing RFCs and I-Ds in markdown and a bit of YAML

Description: Writing I-Ds has traditionally involved some finicky Word templating or typing up hard-to-use (and read!) XML. Recently, it has become more popular in a wide range of communities to write text in the plaintext-like "markdown" format. Tools have emerged in the IETF that allow writing I-Ds in markdown, automatically converting into the XML format accepted by the RFC editor (and performing a number of chores in the process that used to be manual work).

We'll look at what's available and then focus on the "kramdown" set of tools, which enhances markdown with a bit of structured YAML for the management of references. We'll also look at popular workflows that minimize manual work while optimizing collaboration with co-editors and contributors. Bring a laptop with a current version of the programming language Ruby (≥ 1.9) -- we'll do some exercises, and hands-on questions are welcome!

Last time presented:
Dallas, TX, USA at IETF 92
Link to slides: Writing RFCs and I-Ds in markdown and a bit of YAML