On Thu, 1 Jul 2004, Dave Crocker wrote:
By contrast, discussions about "SPF" frequently treat hypothetical
capabilities, deployed capabilities, and multiple specifications of
capabilities as if they were all the same, single, concrete
technology. Perhaps other folks can keep clear what is concrete and
what is vague, but I can't.
I heartily agree with Dave, that it's easier to collaborate on documents than
ideas. It's great to talk about ideas, but they must become documents at some
point before meaningful consensus can be reached.
Thus, the idea of "Unified SPF" needs a draft behind it.
It is always easy to appear to win an argument if one is not burdened
with the requirement to be concrete and stable, and abstract
hypotheticals are treated the same as reality. Easy, but not
There is a healthy amount of disagreement and argument in our working group. I
think this is overall a good thing. But, I'm certainly not out to "win" and I
don't think you are either. We all "win" if we can all agree, or at least
agree to support the group's output at the end.
If SPF is being molded and morphed to take on CSV-like qualities here and
there, CSV authors and supporters should consider this a form of flattery. :)
Specifications and undocumented concepts that are outside the working
group ought to remain outside.
Undocumented concepts are, of course, fine to consider for inclusion
in the working group, but a concept is always vague and its utility is
typically not very high until it achieves relatively stable
documentation. The draft-ietf-marid-submitter specification is a
particularly good example of this process of incorporation. It went
quickly from basic idea to clear, concise, concrete specification. Now
folks can conduct concrete analysis on it.
While I agree that "unified SPF" really needs a draft in order to talk
details, I don't see anything wrong with talking about it as an "undocumented
concept" for a while. Among other things, this is helpful in finding out
whether there is enough interest in the idea to write the draft. So I will
totally agree that a draft needs to be coughed up, but I wouldn't go so far as
to say "Stop talking about concepts for which there is no draft". I don't
think you are saying this either, but "restrict working group discussion to
working group specifications" comes close.
Everyone says that having power is a great responsibility. This is a lot
of bunk. Responsibility is when someone can blame you if something goes
wrong. When you have power you are surrounded by people whose job it is
to take the blame for your mistakes. If they're smart, that is.
-- Cerebus, "On Governing"