Hallam-Baker, Phillip pbaker at
Wed Jun 25 10:45:46 CEST 2003

Not a single one of those objectors saw fit to raise an objection at last
call number 2 six months earlier. So it seems unlikely that the objections
were particularly deep seated.

The issue is here is not the specific blatant abuses that you allowed the
DNSEXT chair to commit. The issue here is PROBLEM. The issue is that chairs
are imposed from above by the establishment and are not answerable to the
WGs or any decisions they make. 

The DNSEXT history illustrates the point, but it is far from an isolated
example. And yes, there can be a reasonable explanation for individual
events, but the series adds up to abuse and manipulation that is

Slice it how you like, I have no confidence in the IETF process. I have
significant influence in the industry and I am going to keep on using this
example time after time to steer standards efforts away from the IETF. If
anyone from the press asks why a modification to SMTP or BGP is being
proposed in a different forum I am going to return to that example.

I note that when I cited IETF, OASIS and W3C as possible venues for a
standard that I have been working on it was an IBM employee who asked "IETF
- are you joking?"

The IETF does not at this point have a good reputation in the industry (and
here I am including Open Source efforts in the definition of industry).
Almost everyone accepts that it is too slow to react and that its processes
have little relevance to real world problems. More importantly IETF
endorsement is not considered to be either a necessary or sufficient
condition to achieve widespread industry support for a protocol.

If you want to re-establish the reputation that the IETF once had it will be
necessary to do much more than simply tweak a few processes. Unless there is
accountability to the grass roots, genuine openness and genuine
inclusiveness the IETF will continue to manage an ever dwindling set of
specs that people don't care about enough to take to other forums.

Decisions made by closed directorates that refuse to allow interested
parties to join are simply not open by any definition.

The IETF is no longer the only game in town. Instead of examining your own
navel why not look at some of the other standards group processes that are


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Thomas Narten [mailto:narten at]
> Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2003 10:07 AM
> To: Hallam-Baker, Phillip
> Cc: problem-statement at
> Subject: Re: "trouble maker" 
> "Hallam-Baker, Phillip" <pbaker at> writes:
> > But there was consensus in favor of OPT IN, the chair 
> decided to abuse his
> > position and ignore it subsituting his own opinion. Read 
> the WG mailing
> > lists.
> Yes, everyone should read the mailing list and form their own opinion.
> > There was a last call, 12 people were in favor, 2 opposed 
> outright, 7 were
> > not in favor but prepared to accept the proposal.
> I note that you choose to interpret the 7, as the same as supporting,
> or not actually being opposed. That is not consistent with what those
> 7 actually said, as they actually did say no. That results in a rather
> different picture.
> > Actually there were in total four last calls. Basically the Chair's
> > strategy was to keep asking the question until he could pretend the
> > result was in his favor.
> Again, your interpretation of motive. It is not uncommon to have
> multiple LCs on the same document, to make sure that it has recieved
> adequate review and all the bugs are worked out. The ADs supported the
> chairs on this. At the end of the process, the WG agreed that the
> technical issues had been worked out and were understood, but there
> was still no consensus with going forward with the solution.
> Thomas

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