Sloppy Charters (was: Re: Discipline of Internet ProtocolEngineering)

Charles E. Perkins charliep at
Fri Jun 6 14:47:03 CEST 2003

Hello Spencer,

For every dimension, there is a scale, and thus a
potential scalability problem.  Maybe it would be
good to consider various axes separately:
- Number of documents to review
- Number of working groups to coordinate
- Number of architectural principles to enforce
- Number of meetings to attend
- Number of document processing steps to approve
- Number of mailing list contributions to read

That took me about 39 seconds to write, and I am
pretty sure more job responsibilities could be
added to that list.  Not all of these axes are
orthogonal though.  Maybe it would be worthwhile
to figure out how the various parts of the job
might be separated.  For instance, we might discuss
whether document review and shepherding has to be
done by the same persons that schedule BOFs.  It's
not immediately obvious how many differnt different
jobs might be created from the job of one AD.

Charlie P.

PS: Charlie's scalability axiom: "If you don't like
     a protocol, you can always claim it isn't scalable".

Spencer Dawkins wrote:
> Yeah, I'm kind of depressed by the lack of feedback from ADs on
> current AD workload. How would the rest of us know?
> But to focus on the documents - the problem resolution draft is
> fairly explicit in section 4.5 about the "huge time commitment" required
> to serve on IESG, in the context that this seriously reduces the pool
> of potential leaders for NOMCOM.
> I'm talking about the bullet that begins
>      "- The current organization of the IETF does not scale. "
> Could we hear from some other people who have been in this role? Are
> we (the editorial team) just making this up, or is this really an issue?
> Spencer, who is unpleasantly surprised that he can't find text in the
> problem draft on this specific point... 2.5.1 says "very large load
> of responsibility", but doesn't say "TOO large".
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John C Klensin" <john-ietf at>
> To: <john.loughney at>; <problem-statement at>
> Sent: Friday, June 06, 2003 11:17 AM
> Subject: RE: Sloppy Charters (was: Re: Discipline of Internet Protocol
> Engineering)
> >
> >
> > --On Friday, 06 June, 2003 19:05 +0300 "john.loughney at"
> > <john.loughney at> wrote:
> > >
> > > I am not thinking of my AD in particular, but also the IESG in
> > > general.  As I've edited documents in several areas, I've
> > > noticed a general tendancy that the IESG has many balls to
> > > juggle, and  engaging chairs / editors in technical things
> > > tends to fall  (unless it is a discussion during IETF last
> > > call).
> >
> > And, personally, I believe _that_ problem has no solution at all
> > unless and until a majority of the IESG are ready to stand up
> > and say "we are seriously overloaded, and we are ready to do
> > something about it.  We understand that starts with accepting
> > the fact that we really can't do everything and then moves on to
> > being willing (and anxious) to look closely at any proposal that
> > might plausibly reduce load."  I've heard things pretty close to
> > that (and pretty consistently) from Harald.  But most of the ADs
> > have appeared to me to have been largely silent or to accept the
> > status quo.
> >
> > And, again, I don't think the community gives nearly enough
> > support to those who push back, which encourages and reinforces
> > all sorts of bad behavior patterns.
> >
> >     john
> >

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