New ways to do things (Re: Doing the Right Things?)

Scott W Brim swb at
Mon Jun 2 13:23:45 CEST 2003

On Sun, Jun 01, 2003 08:26:53PM +0200, Harald Tveit Alvestrand allegedly wrote:
> --On lørdag, mai 31, 2003 23:38:16 -0400 Keith Moore <moore at> 
> wrote:
> >3. We need to see if there are specific kinds of areas or activities that
> >we need to engage in, for which our WG processes don't work well.
> >
> >WGs are the IETF version of Maslow's hammer.  Any time we have a problem
> >we want to form a working group to look at it.  But working groups (and
> >the assumptions about WG operation that go with them) are not always a
> >good way to look at a problem.  Sometimes a different mode of
> >conversation, or different procedures, or different management
> >structures, are  appropriate.
> >
> >We need to understand the limitations of the WG process and determine
> >whether there should be exceptions to that process for activities that
> >are not chartered to develop technical protocol standards.
> I have thought this too.

I like this a lot as well.

> There are working groups that function in a number of different modes:
> Yet the rules for working groups, and the ideals we sometimes tout for how 
> to manage working groups, are strongly biased towards the "classical" model.
> We also have directorates. And we have many (probably hundreds) of mailing 
> lists that have been IETF WGs, or do IETF things, but with no way anyone 
> could find them from the IETF's "official" information.
> Would we be better off if we developed a few terms different from "working 
> group" that we could use to name classes of entity that do functions in the 
> IETF, but do not behave like "classical" working groups?
>                      Harald

In theory "working group" is pretty generic, so maybe you have
"standards working groups", etc.  Or: have one or more special areas for
special *kinds* of WGs.  But first do what Keith said - describe
areas/activities for which WG-classic doesn't work well, and then
explore alternative ways of approaching them.


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