The market not IETF process decides which protocols will continue to be used going forward.
The market loves when we have formal documents laid down by the Formal Documents People confirming what we've been telling our bosses for years. I would bet large sums of money that some tech, somewhere, just walked out of a meeting happy because he finally has permission to deprecate a long-broken system.
At least MS isn't as bad as Apple where the literally force you to buy new hardware along with the new O/S (Ipad 1 anyone?)
You seem to be under the impression that backward and forward hardware compatibility are easy things:
1) That an arbitrary OS could be expected to run well on hardware made many years in the past and many years in the future, and
2) That arbitrary hardware can easily support ancient software.
Suppose you'd said this about DOS. Microsoft should support it in perpetuity! OK, then, but where are you going to buy a mouse today that supports the hardware ports that DOS knows how to handle (or would you think mouse makers would spend the effort to write MTRACKPAD.SYS so that a new Apple Magic Trackpad would work on it)? And it's not exactly free or cheap for a modern i7 to maintain 100% 8088 compatibility.
Conversely, should iOS 9 be expected to run on an original iPhone, with CPUs and GPUs many times slower, an eighth the RAM, a fraction of the storage, and utterly obsolete in many other ways? Even if the minimal core could be made to run, so many features would have to be stripped out (at great development and testing expense) that it'd be pointless.
There are good reasons for dropping compatibility. Software isn't easily made to scale down to ancient predecessors, and hardware leaves stuff behind regularly - I don't have serial ports or ISA slots on this motherboard. It's not plausible for Apple to carry iOS all the way back to hardware that almost no one is using, and it's not realistic for Microsoft to drag Windows 7 all the way forward to hardware that hasn't even been conceived yet. At some point, you just have to let go.
Hey, it worked for Bob Dylan.
"Swift" was a generic noun and a generic adjective long before Taylor's ancestors started using it. I've never seen a wild dylan or ran dylanly down a racetrack, though.
And yet people think it's fair that the artists man up and shoulder the cost of a few months of streaming.
Apple did not do this unilaterally. They approached the rightsholders who actually own the music - that is, the labels and not the artists - and proposed this arrangement. After much negotiation, everyone agreed that this was a solid plan and started moving ahead with it. How much money Apple does or doesn't have is immaterial because they could not legally do this without the consent of the people who own the material, and those people thought it was a fine idea and signed on the dotted line.
So yes, it's perfectly fair: not because you or I think so but because the people capable of vetoing it said it is.
Intra-company transfers for an existing employer (e.g. IBM), limited to a year if you are making £40,000/year; call it $63,500 at todays exchange rate; this is generally not hard for someone employed by IBM, actually
Did I misinterpret that, or did you really mean to say that £40,000/year is a plausible amount for an IBMer to make while living in London? What would you say is a nice salary for a senior engineer?
but if all this does is provide free entertainment I'm not so sure
Don't underestimate the value of free entertainment. Sometimes that guy coming home from his second job really needs to unwind a little before he gets his 6 hours of sleep, and a little YouTube is probably a healthier and cheaper alternative to an after-work beer. Also, entertainment has traditionally proven useful to help prevent the proles from revolting against the bourgeoisie. It's generally not a great idea to insist that the poorest be made more and more miserable for their own good.
Software engineers like me who won't touch the kernel with a 10' poll because I don't need the aggravation of dealing with him.
You shouldn't worry about it. From everything I've seen, he's a lot more sympathetic to new contributors making mistakes than he is to old-timers who should know better. It's fair and reasonable to hold them to a higher standard, and that seems to be exactly what he does.