Andy Bierman wrote:
Spencer Dawkins wrote:
Just following up here...
From: "Lakshminath Dondeti" <ldondeti(_at_)qualcomm(_dot_)com>
But, I wonder why anonymity is an important requirement. The
mailing list verification has at least two properties that are more
important to the IETF: the archives provide for anyone to be able to
verify the consensus independent of the IETF hierarchy (chairs, ADs
and whoever); further the archives provide a means to verify the
consistency of any IETF participant, chairs or ADs at any given
moment, candidates for WG chair and I* positions, and anyone in
We've been telling new WG chairs for several years that
- they really need to have most discussions in public/on mailing lists,
- we recognise that some people aren't comfortable challenging others
in public, and
- we recognise that this discomfort may be more common in some
cultures than in others.
So, for reasons that both John and Lakshminath identified, we've been
asking WG chairs to encourage participants to engage in public
discussions, but to be receptive to private requests for assistance
on how to carry out those discussions.
The alternative - a WG chair who tells the working group that the
apparent WG consensus on the mailing list is being overruled because
of anonymous objections that the WG chair cannot share with the WG,
or because of private objections that the WG chair is "channeling"
from a back room - would make voting seem reasonable (or, to use Mark
Allman's characterization in another thread, "seem charming").
This is not an alternative.
If you are not willing to make your technical objections to a technical
specification publicly, then they cannot be part of the IETF
If that's true, then why do we have hums at wg meetings at all?
A hum doesn't give the reasoning; it's a binary quantity.
What's to prevent a WG Chair from "padding" the anonymous "votes"?
If 5 people in public (WG meeting or mailing list) are for some
proposal, and the Chair says, "I heard from 6 people who
are against this, but don't want their identities known, so the
proposal is rejected." Not acceptable.
Dishonesty by the management is a problem regardless of what system we
have. Most wg's these days have two chairs, so collusion would need to be
at least that deep, and probably require an AD to be on board too. If that
really were the case, I doubt any system is likely to perform very well.
But this cultural thing does bug me. It seems unsatisfying to me that our
pat answer to cultural differences is "become more western". The
language issue is already asking quite a lot of the rest of the world.
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