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

James Kempf kempf at
Fri Apr 25 10:53:16 CEST 2003


> 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
> "outside".

Circling of the wagons by the proposing WG or the reviewing

Actually, my experience with directorates is not so much that they get
a yes or no decision as that they  can provide the ADs with advice and
serve as a forum where WG chairs can talk informally about cross WG
issues. There is no formal place for this in IETF at the moment, and
it often leads to system and architectural design problems (as we've
discussed in the past).

> 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.

The primary difficulty I've seen with directorates is that WG members
don't know who they are, and they are often cited as a "shadowy" group
that is doing things behind the WG's back. This is along the lines of
the transparency critique against the IESG, and like that critique, it
is partially justified. Make the directorates more visible, and
formalizing their role might help.


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