Cross-Area Review (was: Fwd: RE: A follow up question

John C Klensin john-ietf at
Fri Apr 25 13:40:39 CEST 2003

--On Friday, 25 April, 2003 08:28 -0700 James Kempf 
<kempf at> wrote:

> Brian,
> I've found the best vehicle for cross-area review to be
> directorates, but they are very informal and their
> organization and use is very dependent on AD energy. Since ADs
> have a lot to do, especially if they have demanding day jobs
> in addition to their IETF responsibilities, one's milage with
> directorates does vary.
> The primary issue is getting cross area review of work in
> progress. Most WG chairs don't have the cycles to follow other
> WGs work in detail, so directorates provide a forum where WG
> chairs can informally discuss work in progress and get
> information when issues arise that need attention.
> The other vehicles you've mentioned below (charter reviews, IAB
> attention) involve people who are not directly involved in the
> work, and so it is often difficult for them to follow the work
> in detail. By the time an issue is raised to the level of a
> charter review or comes to the attention of the IAB, it can be
> larger scale.


This is interesting, because my sense has been that directorates 
can often be part of the problem.  The difficulty is that, if a 
particular proposal is carefully reviewed within a relevant area 
directorate, or a cross-area one, there may be a certain amount 
of circling of the wagons against criticisms/objections from 

The problem is a bit similar to the one I think we have seen 
with ADs sometimes becoming (or being forced to become) 
advocates for particular documents rather than careful and 
objective evaluators.



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