On 25-jun-2006, at 6:18, Keith Moore wrote:
All too often, we (and I include myself here) shoot down ideas
before they've had a fair hearing. We take an idea that is
embryonic and - because we can _imagine_ that idea going somewhere
that _might_ have a bad result - we do our best to kill it before
it can breed. In this way we discard many good ideas not because
they have no merit, but because they bring with them the potential
to change things. The result is stagnation.
Are you the same Keith Moore as the one I was talking to ealier??
Trouble is, in our current process, there's rarely any formal
request for feedback, and little external visibility of a WG's
output, until Last Call.
That's what charters are for, aren't they?
But I see your point. When I first attended an IETF meeting I was
surprised to see how inward looking wgs are. There is very little, if
any, effort to present what the working group is doing to people
outside of the wg.
So when I'm saying that working groups need multiple stages of
formal, external review, what I'm really saying is that we need a
structure for working groups in which we can have confidence that
sufficient feedback will be obtained early enough to put good ideas
on the right track and to see that truly bad ideas get weeded out
in due time, most of the time.
Hm, I think trying to kill bad ideas is largely a waste of time.
(Saying this both as someone who came up with some ideas that others
think are bad and someone who has tried to convince others that their
ideas are bad.) Often, the fatal flaws will show up as the idea is
developed, so a lot of them go away without doing anything anyway.
The trouble is, that if someone develops a presumably bad idea in a
draft, that draft is going to be deleted after six months. So the
only way to keep that work around is to put it on a private website
where it's probably going to be lost between the billions of pages
that make up the web, or push for publication as an RFC. And like it
or not, this lends a lot of credibility to an idea as most people
don't understand the informational/experimental/standards track
classification. It might make sense to create a third class of
published documents that sits somewhere between draft and RFC. This
would avoid the ridiculous situation where a draft is implemented and
the email announcing its existance is archived, but the draft itself
is deleted after some time.
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