Theodore Ts'o tytso at
Fri Jun 27 16:34:37 CEST 2003

On Fri, Jun 27, 2003 at 09:47:34AM -0700, Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
> - It is not clear to me that anything the IETF formal apparatus could have 
> done in the case of Phil Hallam-Baker and the DNSEXT working group would 
> have made him more happy; after all, he does not seem to be hampered by a 
> language barrier, unfamiliarity with the process, fear of being ostracized 
> or ability to do work.

It is also not clear to me whether or not the anecdotal problems
described by Phil Hallam-Baker are systemic in nature, or possibly due
to personality issues; either on his part, or on the part of the AD
and/or wg chair(s) involved.  Of course, that is why we have an
appeals process, but the fact that he chose not to use that avenue
means that we don't necessarily know how the system would have worked.

Phil has been very vocal about a particular experience of his, and
some of his generalizations that he has made, such as asserting that
no one under 40 makes it into the inner circle, have been disputed by
more than one person who has pointed out several counter-examples to
his generalization.

As a rule, I think we need to be very careful about generalizing from
a single person's experience to the general case.  Phil is not alone
in doing this; I've seen it done in others within the IETF context,
and I've spoken out against this practice of taking a single incident
and generalizing it to condemn an individual or a system has being
unfair and unjustified.  So please don't take this as an outright
objection to Phil's comments, but just as a cautionery note.

Perhaps it would be useful to find out if others had similar
experiences to Phil.  I certainly haven't, and I'm well under 30....
Of course, it might just be because I'm not in the inner circle
(whatever that means; maybe it's just becuase I've just never been
invited into any of the smoke-filled back rooms(*), and I don't know what
I'm missing --- although I have been to the ones with Scotch.  :-)

(*) OK, I've been nomcom chair, but I can definitively state that no
one was smoking in any of our meetings.... 

						- Ted

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