I won't attempt to speak for Ned, but I think there is some
confusion here about what I, at least, intended by "checklist".
It is not, for me, tied up with the form of the list or what
content it has, but goes back to questions of WG
responsibilities (not just authority). The issue isn't whether
something is listed somewhere, it is who, if anyone, is taking
formal responsibility for asserting that the list has been
checked and is correct.
When I've talked about a "submission checklist", it is less
"something the WG ought to check before sending something to the
IESG" or "something the IESG checks after receiving something".
It is, symmetrically with the WG Charter, an formal assertion by
the WG and its Chair(s) that things have been reviewed, checked,
and are correct... an assertion on which they are willing to
commit their reputations (at least).
And that is what has been missing from the picture. It is
trivial to check whether an IANA Considerations section (or a
Security Considerations section, or an Internationalization
Considerations one, or any of the other things that have been
asked for) is present. But, if it says "none", or contains a
collection of words that are irrelevant to the document at hand,
checking becomes very hard --independent of whether the words
are a section of an I-D or appear on a submission document
IMO, the key to making progress in this area is not to expect
omniscience from the IESG, it is getting the WG Chair to
formally sign off that the section has been seriously reviewed
by the WG and found to be complete. I'd expect that the
responsibility for making that sign off would, itself and by
making the responsibilities clear, improve things. I'd also
expect that, if problems are later found that the WG should have
detected and didn't, or would have found had there been a
meaningful review but that review didn't really occur, that the
relevant AD would deal with that situation somewhat more sternly
than, e.g., a WG missing a benchmark deadline: once the
assertion is made that the review occurred and was diligent, a
bad or no review is a sin of commission, not omission, and,
absent external circumstances, I'd expect intense review of
charters, changes of chairs, even closing of the relevant WG...
or having the community hold the AD formally responsible for not
taking those actions.
If that didn't help, we would be in very bad shape indeed.
--On Friday, 10 June, 2005 07:35 -0400 Thomas Narten
Ned Freed <ned(_dot_)freed(_at_)mrochek(_dot_)com> writes:
Like it or not, careful reviews and review checklists, while
quited flawed in their own right, are the best tool we have.
When I was on the IESG I had my own private review checklist;
it was the only thing I found that worked.
I agree careful reviews are necessary. What I find surprising
is your logic, which seems to say:
IANA considerations sections in IDs are not sufficient,
therefore they are useless (or worse).
Is that really what you are advocating? What exactly is it
that you think should be done (in addition to careful reviews)
that would help reduce the odds that the careful review find
issues with the IANA instructions (or lack thereof)?
Note that having IC sections is all about improving the odds
that they contain the Right Thing before the document is
approved by the IESG. In my mind that means:
1) IANA reviews an (essentially) final version, to be sure
what it says is consistent with their understanding of what
needs to be carried out. But, IANA does this review during
Last Call. Thus, the IC section really needs to be complete
_before_ the full IETF review.
2) Well, the Shepherding AD can do the "careful review" during
the AD review phase, but there is already plenty of
pressure to skimp on the AD review in order to send a
document the WG says is finished to IETF LC ASAP. I.e., to
get the IETF LC started and "fix any issues that come up
later". Plus, in my experience, plenty of IC issues are
caught by ADs other than the shepherding AD. So relying on
them to catch all such issues is far from ideal.
3) Voila, have a checklist item that alerts WGs to things they
should take steps to make sure their documents have already
addressed prior to advancing a document out of the WG.
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