Brian E Carpenter wrote:
The IETF's WG procedures (BCP 25, RFC 2418) were published
in 1998 and are probably in need of updating in the light of
eight years' practical experience. The first stage might
be to write a summary of practical problems encountered
in interpreting and implementing RFC 2418, and a summary
of informal practices that have proved successful.
(Note that mailing list management procedures are out of
scope for this item.)
Your focus is on changing some documents. As laudable as this latest
round of pursuit would seem -- especially your focus on doing bite-sized
projects -- it is not at all clear what practical benefit there can be
in such efforts.
The unfortunate reality of IETF processes, concerning working groups, is
that we tend to pay rather little attention our documented rules,
nevermind the documented philosophy of the organization. (John Klensin
has been diligent in repeatedly pointing out aspects of this.)
Charters do not conform to requirements. Milestones are not met. Area
directors take the position that they embody community expertise,
including about market need. IETF meetings are less inclusive, by virtue
of ignoring cost issues for those on a limited budget. And so on.
Yes, many rules are followed and, in particular, many working groups are
quite diligent. However there is a pattern of whim to the conduct of
IETF process, as well as a pattern of both giving the IESG primary
authority and the IESG's taking that authority.
Once upon a time, the IESG's job was to serve the working groups. Over
the years, the relationship has reversed.
Unless and until we move the IESG back to being a real facilitator of
community initiatives rather than of being a dictator of ostensible
community need, and unless and until we start worrying quite a bit more
about much more timely working group output that has real Internet
operational "pull" -- ie, relevance -- it is not clear what practical
benefit there will be in expending the considerable effort needed to
revise our process documents.
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