avri avri at
Sat Jun 28 11:28:44 CEST 2003

On lördag, jun 28, 2003, at 01:47 Asia/Seoul, Harald Tveit Alvestrand 
> When an individual thnks that the process has not produced a result 
> that is best for the Internet, there is no formal process to aid the 
> individual in seeking to change that result.

i think this formulation is better then mine. but is too restrictive.  
it calls for
the judgment of what is best for the Internet.  as an alternative i 

When an individual thinks that the process has not produced the right 
result, or thinks that the process has been abused, there is no formal 
mechanism to aid that individual in seeking to change that result.


    - sometimes there is a process problem that can be fixed before the 
      result is on the books so one should not have to wait until the 
results are in.

   - i used the word mechanism as opposed to process,  i think that is 
the problem;
     one can reasonably argue that there is currently a process, it 
takes very little to
     have a process - that is just words on paper.  i think the problem 
is that there is
     no functional entity that assists in the process.  the word 
'mechanism' is hopefully
     sufficiently abstract and  non-solutionist.

> That's a VERY mild statement, and for numerous reasons:
> - It is not clear to me that the IETF is in the business of dispensing 
> "redress". We're not here to seek an abstract notion of justice, but 
> to make quality, relevant standards for the Internet; our adherence to 
> process is a tool in our seeking those standards, and the reason we 
> want departures from those processes to be challenged is that we think 
> such departures will make it less likely that the right decisions are 
> made.

i think it goes beyond this.  the organization has to be seen as one 
that is open
and is fair to the individuals participating in it in order for it to 
remain a place where people are willing to bring their work or a place 
where work can continue without
rancor.   yes the process is there to help the work get done.  it is 
not an abstract
notion of justice i am looking for,  rather it is a notion of being 
fair and just according
to our rules, processes and principles.

the case under discussion is not the only one of people feeling abused 
by the system that i have heard.  i have been involved in many 
conversations where folks were unhappy with how the system had been 
used to 'force a result' they felt was not in consensus and not fair, 
but the way forward to redress that issue was not clear and did not not 
seem possible.  i have suggested an appeal several times and have often 
gotten answers of inability, fear or disbelief that the system could 
work for them .

> - It is not clear to me that the IETF formal apparatus is the best way 
> of aiding people seeking to change IETF decisions who are challenged 
> by the hurdles you mention. In the civil-justice court system, lawyers 
> are rarely employees of the court.

possibly beside the point, but i think that essentially all public 
(at least in the US)  are employees of the legal system.  and i don't 
we are talking about employees here.  i see those holding offices in 
organization as being individuals who volunteer to take on a trust and
to do their best to meet that trust.

> Like many other things in the IETF, I think many of us have blithely 
> assumed that the informal networks would take care of this - that an 
> individual with a valid case would have friends and colleagues enough 
> to talk over the issue with, and that one could assume that the 
> consensus of that discussion would be reasonably close to the "right 
> answer".

i think that we cannot count on informal  networks.  i think sometimes 
the need is
purely informational.  IETF processes are not simple and not easy to 
it is very difficult for many of our participants, especially the 
international ones to
know how to use the process to achieve their goals - something many of 
us on this
list are fairly talented at.  and we cannot assume that all 
participants have a set of
friends, especially friends who understand the process, to help them 
get the right
and fair, as defined by our process, result.


More information about the Problem-statement mailing list