On 12:38 15/09/2006, Yaakov Stein said:
I am somewhat surprised that no-one has actually answered the question
why DO we use a noncom rather than open elections?
I think that one answer to that question is quite simple.
In open elections where all meeting participants
or all active WG participants take part,
there would be a strong bias towards large corporations
who can afford to devote a large number of representatives.
I am not sure that bias would be that bad. Because this bias does
exist on the market. I feel that this is what is exactly happening
right now in an uncorrect way (cf. IAB RFC 3869). Let suppose the
IESG would be biased by large corporations (is it not: who else can
pay people to volunteer to such job), their interests would be more
clearly exposed than through the current system + market impact. May
be could we save one or to years on the TTM.
In fact, we could rapidly find the IETF effectively kidnapped by one
or two companies, stifling creativity and serving to further their
narrow economic interests, rather than those of the developer and
user communities at large. This would undermine the whole purpose of the IETF.
I am afraid that at least in some cases (I met two while being active
in three WGs) this is what is happening. You notice it less, but WG
can be kidnapped. IMHO this is more insidious because what the
corporations then want is not development but the confirmation of
their positions and commercial leadership through RFCs. Again, I
strongly advise we reread carefully IAB's RFC 3869.
IMHO no system can be perfect. All the more if one tries to make it
supporting everything, development, engineering, documentation,
testing. But I would be very interested in a parallel effort for
structural issues where WGs would be protected from being hijacked by
having the IETF deliverables' users (other SSDOs, industry, Govs,
civil society) the moderator.
The noncom has built-in restrictions that work to keep the IETF
diverse and responsive to a wide community.
Yes. But there could be other solutions providing the same
protection, but more adapted to a part of the IETF growth and current
state of the technical governance.
Isn't it easier to answer the question asked rather than indulging
in the content-free discussion we have just witnessed?
Yes. IMHO the real problem is well described in RFC 3935. The
technology the IETF documents is built along the IETF core values. I
feel these values and technical interests have somewhat diversified.
We should therefore consider not to change what works, but to explore
new _additional_ avenues. The technology, the Internet, the world,
the IETF is no more in 1986.
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