Why do IETF meetings have to be monolithic and all-inclusive?
I can tell you why we do - crosstalk. It can be incredibly
useful for people from the Security Area to look in on
Applications, or for Transport and RAI folks to understand
the workings of the layers beneath them and their users, for example.
That doesn't make for a "has to", but it seems like a good
reason to "choose to", from my perspective.
I agree with your reasoning. I should have asked,
why do *ALL* IETF meetings have to be monolithic and all-inclusive?
Smaller meetings held outside North America could be located
in smaller cheaper hotels, and would encourage wider participation
in the IETF. In fact, smaller meetings in North America would
achieve the same ends.
I'm not suggesting getting rid of the existing monolithic
meetings, but adding another type of meeting that is smaller,
cheaper to attend, and held in cities/countries that are
far from the USA but closer to people who should be more
involved in the IETF. For instance, Pune and Bangalore India,
Moscow and Ekaterinburg Russia, Dalian and Shanghai China
as well as places like Helsinki, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Seoul.
Note that smaller regional meetings still provide the opportunities
for some crosstalk, even if the variety of WG choices to attend
will be smaller. And it increases the amount of crosstalk and
cross-fertilization between people who regularly work in the IETF
and those who have not done IETF work because they have not had
the opportunity to see it in action, face to face.
Note also that RIPE does something along these lines with their
regional meetings having more focus on education. I expect that
an IETF regional meeting would also have to have more focus
on education since a higher proportion of first-timers would attend.
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