--On Saturday, 25 March, 2006 11:57 -0500 Edward Lewis
At 15:51 +0100 3/25/06, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
If somebody comes to the IETF for a two hour meeting and
wastes the opportunity of another 30+ hours of learning about
what other WGs and BOFs are up to, that would indeed be a
I agree with this, but find that (in some instances) that
meetings are run counter to this goal.
I sat in an session outside my area of experience and heard
this from the first speaker, "if you haven't read the drafts,
you shouldn't participate here. Therefore I will not have
slides and dive into the details." As this was outside my
area of experience, I had not taken the time to read up on the
session. I figured that having scribed for it at the previous
meeting would give me enough cover.
Before each speaker in that session, the question "who has
read" was asked, with few hands going up each time. It would
be far more helpful to try to be "inclusive" rather than
"exclusive" towards us tourists.
Ed, although I don't remember seeing you there, I have a nervous
feeling that I know which WG you are referring to and who said
(roughly, although I don't recall "don't participate") those
words early in the session. Whether that feeling is correct or
not, there are other WGs with the problems that one faced last
Using the one I have in mind as an example...
* The WG is working a topic that, because of the need to
interact with the traditional version of the protocol,
involves a large number of constraints and very subtle
* Despite the fact that there are a large number of
documents on the table, documents that explore the
issues rather than just making proposals, it is
early-stage in its work.
* The topic tends to draw flies and an assortment of
ogres and trolls, most of the latter groups on the
assumption that anyone who can use systems based on a
protocol is obviously qualified to comment on the
* A great deal about what is important about the
documents that people were asked to confirm that they
had read or otherwise keep quiet involved in-depth
exploration of the issues and constraints, not (merely
(!)) protocol details. Without exposure to that
material, someone trying to participate in the
discussion would probably lack not only that
understanding but even a vocabulary with which to
discuss the topic.
And the WG was very much in need of the kind of discussion that
actually occurred: by experts in the specific area or the areas
immediately surrounding it, who were familiar with prior
discussions and the documents, and who could focus in on
specific issues rather than implicitly asking for tutorials that
could easily take up the entire available time. There had also
been a decision that the WG would concentrate on seeing if it
could develop a particular approach leading to Experimental
protocols, so there is little interest at this time in "what if
you did something completely different" discussions. The result
was one of the better sets of discussions I've seen in a WG
meeting in some time, so there won't be any apologies for the
However, at a later stage in the process, broader review, even
by people not familiar with the intimate details, will be more
appropriate and I trust that WG meetings will be handled
differently at that time.
If you are referring to a completely different WG, I'd encourage
you to see if there are any useful analogies.
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