ISSUE: Procedural rapid ossification
John C Klensin
john-ietf at jck.com
Fri Jun 6 17:55:33 CEST 2003
--On Friday, 06 June, 2003 15:35 -0500 Spencer Dawkins
<spencer at mcsr-labs.org> wrote:
> Dear John (Klensin),
> I look forward to the Vienna meeting with increased
> Thank you for the slap across the face ("thanks, I needed
> Since you mention I-D submission deadlines specifically -
> I remember the Munich IETF, and hearing from an IAB member
> who missed the I-D cutoff by several minutes (less than 10), so
> we couldn't discuss the proposal (can't remember if it was a WG
> document or not).
Just in case I was the relevant IAB member, note that you just
invoked two separate rules...
(1) There is an I-D cutoff, and documents submitted
after it are not going to get posted.
Can the IESG make an exception to that rule if they
consider it important enough? That has, I believe,
always been the case. Should they do it very often?
No, that would probably cause chaos and accusations of
unfairness. But the notion that they _cannot_ make an
exception would be, IMO, just wrong.
(2) Many WGs, and some areas, have adopted a rule that
documents that weren't posted before the IETF meeting
starts can't be discussed because there would be
insufficient time for people to read and assimilate
them. Is that a good rule? Almost always. Can the
relevant AD, or even the WG Chair, waive it if that is
in the WG's best interests? Yes, I hope so -- if that
is impossible, we have really gotten hung up on
procedures to the exclusion of substance. Should an
exception occur very often? I personally think that
would be a really bad idea.
And, for whatever it worth, were I an AD or WG Chair, I'd be a
lot more sympathetic to a 10-minute-after-deadline request to
ask the Secretariat to post a draft anyone, or to an
hour-after-deadline request to post a link to the draft on a web
page and notify the WG's mailing list that it is on the meeting
agenda, than I would to someone standing up during a WG meeting
and saying "well, I've got this draft that missed the deadline,
and which no one has seen, but I think we should discuss it
anyway". The first two options preserve the principle of early
and widely-available posting. The "in the meeting" one would
seem to be nonsense and abusive of the time of the WG
participants... but there might be an exception somewhere.
> After that, I've had very high regard for the IETF's rules.
> You are suggesting that my regard might have been a little TOO
> high. An interesting thought.
Very possibly. They are rules. Almost all of them are useful
rules. They have not been chiseled into stone by a divine hand
and I think we put ourselves at risk by pretending that they
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