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

Margaret Wasserman mrw at
Mon Jun 2 14:30:03 CEST 2003

At 12:23 PM 6/2/2003 -0400, Scott W Brim wrote:
>On Sun, Jun 01, 2003 08:26:53PM +0200, Harald Tveit Alvestrand allegedly 
> > --On lørdag, mai 31, 2003 23:38:16 -0400 Keith Moore <moore at>
> > >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.

Me, too.

>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.

I have an example...

We've been trying to figure out the *right* way to run a
non-standards-oriented function in the IETF -- specifically
internal education/training.

We want to allow community visibility and input into our
education priorities and programs, however there is no
intention for our internal education/training efforts to
produce RFCs.  This is also an ongoing function, not a
task-oriented function like producing a document or solving
a particular technical problem.

The two existing choices for group activities in the IETF
         - Directorates
         - Working Groups

I suppose that we could have an internal education directorate,
but that wouldn't help to make our efforts more visible and/or
allow for wide community input.

So, maybe we need a WG?  It would be a weird WG, but a WG
seems preferable to continuing to conduct this effort in
a back-room effort...

Anyway, we'll have a BOF in Vienna, and one of the things
that we'll be discussing is how this effort should be
organized and run on an ongoing basis.

Opinions are welcome.


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