My thoughts about the problems of the IETF

Keith Moore moore at
Thu Apr 17 10:44:32 CEST 2003

> How can the WGs possibly have too much power? 

they're too narrowly focused.

> The WGs _are_ the IETF...

no they're not.  No WG represents the IETF as a whole, and when a WG acts
against the interests of the whole, it's not acting in IETF's behalf.

> It is the job of those 13 people (along with the WG chairs)
> to manage and facilitate the work the of the "mobs",
> not to curb it.

when the mob gets ugly, "manage" and "facilitate" don't really seem like
appropriate terms.  fortunately, we don't tend to get violent. but I've seen
WGs that were about as able to make rational decisions as a mob.

> It is a fundamental precept of the IETF that the rough
> consensus of the "mobs", developed in a fair and open
> process, will produce good results.  And, all of our
> processes and systems are built around that assumption.

A WG will usually (not axiomatically) produce good results if you only
consider that WG's area of interest.  The fallacy is in assuming that results
that are optimized for a fairly narrow area of interest are good for the
Internet as a whole.

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