I agree that the "5 criteria" are not necessarily applicable to the IETF.
However, I think that providing the Study Group with explicit WG formation
criteria at its inception is useful, whatever that criteria may be. That way
all parties understand what the Study Group is expected to accomplish, and how
its success will be judged.
With respect to measuring interest, it is true that the IETF is more informal,
but I do think that it would help to be more explicit about what we mean by
"interest". For example, with respect to Study Group formation, we are talking
about interest in the Study Group, on the part of potential participants in
that Study Group. Determining interest in a potential WG would put off until
later and would be gauged based on Study Group participation and review of
Study Group documents, including the Charter.
Subject: RE: Reforming the BOF Process (was Declining the ifare bof for
Chicago)Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 12:22:01 +0200From:
Speaking as a participant in both the IETF and IEEE 802, there are many things
that I like in the CFI / Study Group process of IEEE. Your proposal goes in the
direction of solving one of the problems I perceive in the IETF processes which
is the lack of repeatability and predictability (again speaking as a
participant). I like it. Yet, there are some differences:
- The five criteria in the IEEE would not apply as is. I am not sure that
'broad market potential' should be there at all, or should be as strong a
factor as it is in the IEEE. Same with economic feasibility, which in the IEEE
often refers to the costs of hardware based implementations
- 'Measuring interest' works differently in the IETF than in the IEEE which is
very much physical participation based, and where participants and company
votes are dully counted and registered in CFI meetings as proof of interest.
From: Bernard Aboba [mailto:bernard_aboba(_at_)hotmail(_dot_)com] Sent:
Tuesday, June 12, 2007 7:52 PMTo: ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)orgSubject: Reforming
the BOF Process (was Declining the ifare bof for Chicago)
The recent discussion on the IFARE BOF has raised more fundamental issuesabout
the IETF BOF process. Rather than letting discussion continue on theSAAG list,
it would seem better for this discussion to occur on the IETF list. > Speaking
as a former AD, it can be a very tough call to say yes/no to> a BOF.
Unfortunately, there is often interest, but interest is most > definitely not
enough. There needs to be more than interest. It should be understood that this
is a feature of the IETF process that isnot necessarily held in common with
other SDOs.For example, within IEEE 802 the initial meeting is termed a
"Callfor Interest" because the determination of interest is the major
focus;writing a charter/PAR is not.
Assuming that sufficient interest exists,
a study group is formed, whosesole purpose is to write a Project Authorization
Request (PAR)(equivalent of a charter), and demonstrate that the proposed
worksatisfies the "5 criteria":1. Broad Market Potential a. Broad sets of
applicability. b. Multiple vendors and numerous users. c. Balanced costs2.
Compatibility with existing standards.3. Distinct Identity.4. Technical
feasibility a. Demonstrated system feasibility b. Proven technology,
reasonable testing c. Confidence in reliability5. Economic Feasibility> There
needs to be a reasonable chance of a positive, forward-moving> outcome.I
believe that this ascribes more predictive value to the BOF process thanis
warranted by experience. Quite a few deployed technologies haveoriginated
from BOFs that the IESG judged to not have a likely "forward-movingoutcome",
while many unproductive working groups arose from successful BOFs. The
reality is that BOFs do not much have predictive value, if onlybecause the BOF
process does not much resemble the WG process, so thatthe success dynamics
cannot easily be ascertained as a result. > Yes, I* opinions are afforded
special status. They are our chosen > leadership, and with leadership comes
responsibility. Responsibility> to be sure that if the work goes forward, it is
well scoped, has a> reasonable likelihood of success, etc. And please remember,
the IETF> 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 doing things.Again,
the IESG role in the BOF process represents a choice on the part of the IETF.
It is possible to envisage other approaches that could yieldoutcomes as good or
better while providing better accountability andtransparency. For example, by
restricting the function of an initial BOF to a determination ofinterest and a
decision to form/not form a study group, the opportunitiesfor unfairness and
bias can be reduced. Once the study grouphad produced a charter and
documentation of the formation criteria, the reviewof these documents could
proceed with more information than is typicallyavailable as the result of a
(potentially delayed) 2nd BOF. Also, the review could utilize existing
procedures for ensuring transparency andaccountability, such as an open review
process and documentation ofDISCUSS comments.
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