On Monday, the IEEE-Standards Association gave approval to draft 12 of the revision draft, which ends the technical work in producing the draft. Once the final version is approved, get ready to say hello to the 2,800 page 802.11-2012, which replaces 802.11-2007 plus ten amendments (k, r, y, w, n, p, z, v, u, and s).
I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few memories about the revision process, none of which have anything to do with technology:
- Several of us were hoping that the revision would be approved in 2011, so the revision would be 802.11-2011.
- Specifically, we would have liked to approve it on either February 8 or August 2. Depending on where in the world you live, those dates can both be written “8/02/11.”
- January 2009 was a memorable meeting for a few reasons. First, we had trouble finding a technical editor, and were forced to state that the project was on hold. I used this event as an excuse to go looking for photographs to illustrate the state of the group, which became a tradition. From January 2009 on, my closing reports always featured a photo that illustrated how I thought the group was going. (In January 2009, I used this brilliant photo of a pile of stop signs from Flickr.)
- Also in January 2009, I decided to take up a collection to hire an editor. (We’re not paid by the IEEE, remember?) As chair, I decided to fine anybody who used the word “editor” in a meeting 25 cents, which I kept in a pool and offered to give to anybody who would serve as editor. To avoid my collection efforts, the task group used various euphemisms, such as “the remaining officer” and “the task group participant who is an expert in Frame.”
- Finally, in January 2009, our task group was attacked by a giant cockroach. It is one of the biggest cockroaches I have ever seen. For lack of a better alternative, we asked the cockroach if it was willing to be technical editor. I also took a photo of the cockroach for the January 2009 closing report (see slide 4), even though the hotel staff really, really didn’t want me taking a picture. As part of the joke, we occasionally referred to the technical editor as “the cockroach” afterwards, but we stopped when we realized it probably wasn’t making the job seem attractive.
- Adrian Stephens volunteered as editor in March 2009, and yes, I did give him the $2.50 in fines that we had collected up to that point. I also used a photo of a big green light for the photographic illustration of our status.
- In November 2009, the revision was in the recirculation ballot process, and I went looking for a photo of my own to illustrate recirculation. I eventually settled on a photo of the exit staircase of the Vatican museum that I had taken earlier that year (see slide 3).
So now, if you ever go looking for something in the nearly 3,000 pages of 802.11-2012, I hope I have at least given you something to laugh about while you search.