Danger to the Net? (Re: My thoughts about the problems of the IETF)

Steve Silverman steves at shentel.net
Mon Apr 21 19:30:16 CEST 2003

It appears to me that the discussion has focused on power struggles
between the ADs and the WGs.  It also seems to me that the ADs have
been chosen as relatively intelligent and knowledgeable individuals
are generally just trying to do a good job who are supposed to have a
broad view of networking.

WGs often seem to have a narrower focus than the ADs which is one
reason we have ADs.
It seems to me that the real issue in in the WG.  Very often, less
than 5% of the
attendees have read the draft.  The IETF culture tends to let a few
push a concept (and a draft) through without many people really giving
it much consideration.
I think that part of this is the huge number of IDs we are expected to
read.  For most of us,
IETF participation is not the only work we are expected to do.  (This
problem is not exclusive to the
IETF.)  If less than 7 people have read and really understand an ID,
there is a good chance, that there
are significant undetected problems that may result in an AD blockage
or problems down the road.
The solution is NOT more pressure on the AD but rather improving the
WG process.

Perhaps a mechanism to call attention to a significant issue that
needs wide understanding and discussion
because it impacts many areas.  Perhaps requiring  a minimum number of
WG people who
have really read and believe they understand the draft.  These are
just possibilities.

Steve Silverman

> --On mandag, april 21, 2003 08:05:01 -0700 Dave Crocker
> <dhc at dcrocker.net>
> wrote:
> > Harald,
> >
> > HTA> at the risk of sounding a call for flamage....
> > ...
> > HTA> I am beginning to be as tired of hearing about
> unnamed ADs wielding
> > unnamed HTA> threats to unnamed document authors over
> unnamed technical
> > issues for HTA> unnamed political reasons as you must be
> of feeling the
> > pushback.
> >
> > And therein lies a major problem in the IETF right now.
> >
> > There is no "risk" of flamage.  It is a certainty.
> >
> > Open frank discussion of particulars about an AD is never
> productive
> > in the IETF.
> well - have we tried it?
> if not - do we know that it's not productive?
> >
> > So you are probably not alone in being tired of this mode of
> > communication.
> >
> > However it is probably more important to be concerned that that we
> > have an environment that necessitate that mode.
> >
> > d/
> > --
> >  Dave Crocker <mailto:dcrocker at brandenburg.com>
> >  Brandenburg InternetWorking <http://www.brandenburg.com>
> >  Sunnyvale, CA  USA <tel:+1.408.246.8253>, <fax:+1.866.358.5301>
> >
> >

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