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

Bound, Jim Jim.Bound at hp.com
Tue Apr 22 13:56:55 CEST 2003

I agree specifics should be given not to hold people to the fire but to
get points out on table so we have data to discuss.  That being stated I
have a question to keep the discussion focused.

Do we only want to bring up the specific bullets Thomas noted?T

For example point 2 below gets to another area "indirectly".  I will do
my best to explain.

A piece of technical work is being worked on by the working group and a
design team.
That team puts out strawperson.   The AD says privately this "team" is
pushing this agenda to persons on the team?  The AD can affect progress
of the draft?  Should we state these specifically? Or is that to
sensitive.  I have perfect case if not with specifics. The issue would
bring out something very important how to we sort out and compromise on
the communitys base technology "assumptions" which often stifle progress
and we do not even see it.  Note this problem is not solved by getting
all to state what problem a piece of work is solving but it is before
that process step.  The AD doing this can create FUD in the working
group or design team.  They key effort for this WG would be focused on
how we sort out and get out in the open a WGs and communitys base

The AD's or IESG bar is to high for PS and why we are seeing many drafts
today at ordinal numbers of draft 18-23 etc.  This should at least be
discussed with "specific" examples maybe.

The chairs and AD's need to move quickly when there are clear moments of
consensus to simply move forward with a compromise.  For example the WG
for IPv6 overwhelmingly want to deprecate site-local addresses and all
experts that have been involved except a few now.
Yet the chairs and I think the AD's are not able to just declare DONE
and move on. In that case we should be waiting no longer.

So I think Thomas's bullets are good but there are a few more to add.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Thomas Narten [mailto:narten at us.ibm.com] 
> Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 12:11 PM
> To: Dave Crocker
> Cc: Harald Tveit Alvestrand; problem-statement at alvestrand.no
> Subject: Re: Danger to the Net? (Re: My thoughts about the 
> problems of theIETF) 
> > HTA> I am beginning to be as tired of hearing about unnamed ADs 
> > HTA> wielding unnamed threats to unnamed document authors 
> over unnamed 
> > HTA> technical issues for unnamed political reasons as you 
> must be of 
> > HTA> 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.
> IMO, we do need to talk about specifics (as in let's start 
> with specific documents where this has happened). If that 
> touches onto a specific AD's handling of things, so be it. 
> It's been repeatedly asserted that ADs need Thick Skin for 
> the job anyway.
> For some time now, I feel like we are in this mode where 
> there are repeated references (from various quarters) about 
> unnamed ADs blocking document inappropriately.  Everyone 
> seems to agree that should not be happening. But, there 
> continue to be assertions that it does. So, how do we 
> _really_ fix the problem (whether it is just perception or 
> reality)?  Seems like we need to:
> 1) identify where it's happened in the past, so we can say "yep, we
>    know about that, but are there any other cases we also need to know
>    about?"
> 2) identify where it's _not_ really happened, but due to
>    miscommunication (or lack of communication), folks _believe_ it to
>    have happened (i.e, separate fact from rumor).
> 3) where it has happened recently, especially in the last 6-12 months
>    time, we (as in the IESG and/or Harald) need to take hard look at
>    what happened and what we can do to make sure it doesn't happen
>    again.
> IMO, it's really important to talk about specifics because I 
> know of no other way of addressing the vague "it has 
> happened" or "it still happens" assertions.
> Note also, that there are some 13 IESG members (including 
> Harald as chair). Surely at least some of us are approachable 
> enough that anyone with a specific issue can fill us in on 
> the details so that we can go investigate and report back?
> Thomas

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