Trusting the IESG to manage the reform process (was:Re:Doingthe Right Things?)

Eric Rescorla ekr at
Sun Jun 8 18:28:29 CEST 2003

Randy Bush <randy at> writes:

> >> rofl!  all the authority and fifteen cents will get you on the
> >> subway [0]. 
> > I'm not sure what you're saying here. The ADs have immense
> > authority--the authority to block documents.
> nice hyperbole, but the fact is no one blocks documents, we point
> out what we think are problems and ask to discuss them to either
> find out we have misunderstood or, should the problem be real,
> actually get the problem addressed.  this is the same 'authority'
> the author, editor, wg chair, or reviewer has.  big whoopie doo.
Randy, this is disingenuous. A single reviewer cannot make a
document fail to progress, though they can make a big stink.
An AD can, and they frequently do. 

One example: 
The IESG held TLS for nearly a year because they insisted that
their be a mandatory algorithm and that it be DH/3DES/SHA.
No other group of 13 people in the IETF could have done that,
no matter how big a stink they raised. In point of fact,
2 or 3 ADs could have done this.

> the question is what can be done to improve the quality of
> documents.
I agree that that's the question, but in order to address
that question we must first clearly understand what's 
happening at the moment.

> > Since companies and WGs spend lots of time and money trying to
> > get documents passed, the ability to block
> artificial polarization.  as i said above, documents can be called
> for discussion by 92.3% of the population. 
Yes, but most of those people can't kill it entirely if they
so choose. The IESG effectively can.

> the problem is that
> some authors, editors, wg chairs, ... seem to prefer the lazy but
> beauty contest winning path of saying yes to anything and then
> hoping the iesg will take the heat for asking the hard questions.

This neither shocks nor surprises me. People respond to incentives.
I ask again: what incentives do the WGs have to produce documents
that meet the IESG's definition of quality?


[Eric Rescorla                                   ekr at]

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