Fit might be the right criteria if the objective here is to have a nice jolly
We have a rather serious responsibility here. Many of the best people in the
field are not exactly known for being easy to get along with.
From: Ted Hardie [mailto:hardie(_at_)qualcomm(_dot_)com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 5:22 PM
To: Lakshminath Dondeti; Thomas Narten
Cc: IETF Discussion
Subject: Re: Should I* opinions be afforded a special status?
(Re: [saag] Declining the ifare bof for Chicago)
Yes, I* opinions are afforded special status. They are our chosen
leadership, and with leadership comes responsibility.
to be sure that if the work goes forward, it is well scoped, has a
reasonable likelyhood of success, etc. And please remember,
is a meritocracy. So please don't raise the "I* has special status"
issue as if it were some kind of unfair or biased way of
Knowing Thomas pretty well, I think this is just an
unfortunate juxtaposition of two different statements. The
IETF, as a whole, values technical input (rather than raw
voting). Statements which are backed by analysis, careful
thought, and reasoned arguments will be given more weight
than a +1 on a mailing list. As 3935 states, the IETF is
taking that input from anyone: "the issues on which the IETF
produces its documents are issues where the IETF has the
competence needed to speak to them, and that the IETF is
willing to listen to technically competent input from any
source". The weight assigned is from all concerned, but it
is up to the working group chair/ADs to assess the
community's reaction to a proposal or other technical input.
They assess, in some form, how the community weights the
technical arguments. So the IETF leadership is, in effect,
given a responsibility related to that assessment.
That does not mean the IETF leadership is itself a
meritocracy; it's not.
The IESG and IAB are picked by NomComs for a variety of
skills and "fit" is a critical one. Someone who can fit into
the team the NomCom is building may be selected over someone
who is equal or better in any or all of our technical
disciplines, because of the need to balance skills,
personalities, and time commitments. This last is a
particularly important point, as the IETF is led,
fundamentally, by people who have the will, time, and
resources to dedicate to that effort. There will likely
always be people who have more "merit" on some objective
scale than those who are selected, but who cannot serve
because they lack time or support.
In assessing an IESG or IAB member's reaction to a document,
BoF proposal, I think we should consider the *time* they put
into it; each has dedicated significant time to getting an
overall context for the IETF, which may involve knowledge of
what the competing proposals for attention are and other
dragons in the upcoming road. That may give weight to their
opinion, but it has to be matched by time spent on analysis
of the specifics. An IESG member who puts a discuss on a
document with "this feels wrong" is given considerable
pressure to make an actionable statement instead, with a real
analysis backing it; the same is or should be true for
statements during a BoF or WG meeting.
For an AD to say: "I don't see community consensus on this,
here's how you could demonstrate it" is more than fair; it is
actionable. For an AD to say "I don't see how this would get
deployment, so I don't want to spend IETF cycles on it,
here's what it would take to demonstrate it could get deployed"
is also actionable. But neither statement relies on a
"meritocracy", they rely on management. For *anyone* to say
"I don't think this is technically correct or the optimal
solution" will require the same analysis, careful thought,
and reasoned analysis that is the hallmark of good IETF
input. That includes
statements by members of the IESG or IAB. It will also
and continued engagement on the technical solution; if it
doesn't, then the community needs a statement on why the IESG
or IAB don't think the problem is worth the time. In other
words, if there won't be *technical* engagement, there needs
to be a clear management reason given for that.
BoFs have been hard in this space for a long time. But since
they are how the IETF remains a technical vital, relevant
place to do work, I think they are worth the time it takes to
respond to proponents, either technically or as a management
issue, on why they are or are not going forward.
Ietf mailing list
Ietf mailing list