IETF Problem WG Charter Discussion

avri avri at
Wed Jan 8 09:51:11 CET 2003


The issue is not to work on the solution, but the charter does include
definition of the process to be followed in producing the solution.  So
instead of just having a problem statement and then being left with the
question of "what next?", we have a problem statement and then a
recommendation of the process and procedures to be used in solving the
problem.  This is different then actually solving the problem, as it
involves setting the stage for its solution but not actually developing
and recommending the solution.  The intent is to make sure the movement
toward change does not end with delivery of a list of problems.

You will notice from the proposed schedule that the definition of this
process has a lagging start/end from the description of the problem.

As for solutionism on this list.  You are right that is not in the charter.
And it is not appropriate to focus on developing solutions on the WG list.
However, in my personal experience and personal opinion, exploring possible
solution spaces is often tightly coupled with understanding a problem. In
a sense, taking a peek at a possible solution sometimes resembles hypothesis
testing.  Having said that I do want to reiterate my agreement that working
on solutions is not being defined as appropriate for this WG.  Threading the
line between peeking at a solution and working on a solution will require
careful delineation on all our parts.  And may be a place where the old,
often ignored IETF adage, of (paraphrased) be conservative in what you send
and liberal in what you accept, will be important to keep in mind.


john.loughney at wrote:
> Hi Avri,
>>How about Re-charter or Disband WG.  I don't want to presuppose
>>the contents of the process recommendation.
> I thought that we are working on the definting the problem, not
> the process recomendation.  I think we need to clearly scope that
> this working group is for documenting the problems only.  I have
> already been unhappy that many people on the list are developing
> solution before there is any common understanding of the problem.
> Working groups who work on solutions before defining the problems
> that they are trying to solve often run into problems.
>>Though, of course, this is the default condition for all WG even
>>if we rarely see it happen.
> I think this is one where we want to be explicit.
> John

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