--On Tuesday, September 01, 2009 18:06 -0400 Leslie Daigle
I'm having troubles reconciling a couple of things:
1/ Recent discussion (different draft) on the importance of
the IAOC implementing IETF (and IAB) policy and admin
requirements; not having the IAOC *setting* those requirements;
2/ Suggesting that the IAB & IETF Chairs should not be on the
Let me try a little different perspective on this because I see
both different issues and a more complex set of tradeoffs than
your note implies.
First and most important, the draft doesn't say "the IETF and
IAB Chairs cannot serve on the IAOC". It eliminates that
function as a _requirement_ of their roles. If the people
holding those positions, in conjunction, respectively, with the
IESG or IAB conclude that the Chairs have the time to do the job
well and are, in your words, "in a unique position...", then
nothing prevents them from _deciding_ to preserve the status quo.
The problem is that we are turning those roles into full time
(or more) jobs. I believe the IETF Chair role has already
passed that point and that the IAB Chair one is rapidly moving
in that direction. That is not, IMO, healthy for the IETF
because, while we may get lucky sometimes, in general people who
can take on full-time-or-more, IETF-uncompensated, IETF roles
are different from those of us who need to perform "day jobs"
while doing IETF work in whatever fractional time, or spare
time, is available. Requiring that the roles be full time
reduces the number of possible candidates, which reduces Nomcom
choices, etc. It also tends to reinforce all of the trends that
lead to isolation of the IESG and IAOC from the community (I'll
avoid explaining that hypothesis at length unless it becomes
And the document explicitly allows the IAB and/or IETF Chair to
sit in on IAOC meetings and teleconferences if (i) the IAB or
IESG decide to appoint someone else to the more permanent
positions (people who are expected to participate actively and
consistently) and (ii) the relevant Chair decides, possibly on
the advice of other IAOC members but without any requirement for
IAOC consensus agreement, that attendance when a specific matter
is being discussed is important.
So the only differences between what you are arguing and what
the document suggests are:
-- You apparently think that the participation in the IAOC and
Trustees of the two Chairs is so important --always-- that, if
time is limited, they need to put those responsibilities ahead
of everything else. The document proposes to let the
individuals involved and the bodies on which they serve make
that decision in a way that best serves the community and to
review it as they deem necessary.
-- While I certainly agree that there are some issues that will
come before the IAOC and/or Trustees in which the direct
involvement of one or both Chairs is important, I don't believe
that is true of every discussion and every decision. Again, I
think that decision should be left to the relevant individuals
(who are free to look at IAOC or Trustee agendas and decide to
sit in), to the relevant bodies, and to the IAOC (who can always
specifically invite participation in a particular discussion),
while your position effectively takes those decisions and turns
them over to an organizing document.
-- Conversely, some decisions and discussions of the IAOC and
Trustees may involve topics for which the the IETF and IAB
Chairs are neither particular qualified or particularly
interested. Certainly Nomcoms are not considering in-depth
financial planning skills or great experience with IPR issues
(or interest in either) as primary considerations in selecting
IETF Chairs or IAB members (and I would hope that they would
continue to avoid doing that). Again, it seems to me to be
better to let the incumbents in those roles sort out the
tradeoffs and best choices with their respective bodies than to
force a choice in the organizing documents.
Having people in the IAOC and Trustee positions who want to do
them and have the bandwidth to do so should strengthen those
bodies (whether those people are the Chairs or not), rather than
risking having a disinterested Chair serving because it a job
that cannot be escaped.
Finally, and I believe that the above arguments stand whether or
not you believe this (and the choice is up to the IESG and IAB
in any event), I have trouble accepting the "unique position"
argument until we believe that those two people are serving on
the IAOC/Trustees as individuals with no obligation to consult
with the relevant bodies. I don't read BCP 101 as contemplating
that and would find it extremely problematic if interpreted that
way. If they are actually expected to represent the
perspectives of the IAB and IESG, as I believe, then the Chairs
aren't inherently more "uniquely" qualified than any other
member of those bodies or, in principle, a non-member liaison
who maintains a very close relationship. And, again, the goal
of the document is to give the IAB and IESG those choices,
rather than assuming that a single choice will be optimal every
year and on every occasion.
To your specific comments...
As it stands the IETF Chair is in a unique position to
understand all the requirements of the IETF community and IETF
administrative activities. There isn't someone else who can
step in: all other IESG members are tasked, as a primary
responsibility, with looking after their particular areas.
And the IETF Chair was a full time job even before the IAOC came
along. Whatever was taking up that time, I think one can
equally argue from it that the IETF Chair is equally "fully
tasked". The decision should be left up to the IESG on the
basis of who has the time, skills, and interest. I predict
that the choice will often fall on the Chair, but believe the
decision should be left up to the IESG rather than being rigidly
specified for all time based on, e.g., the above model of who
has time and energy.
The IAB Chair similarly sits at the confluence of all the
issues hitting the IAB, and is specifically responsible for
tracking them so that they get addressed by the IAB. While
the IAB Chair can, in theory, delegate actions on particular
topics, it at least used to be the case that some tasks are
too tricky or unappealing to get other involvement(too admin,
not enough architectural content). And, even with successful
delegation of individual tasks, the IAB Chair retains the
perspective across all the activities -- technical, IANA, RFC
Same comment above, only more so.
I'm not going to disagree that the jobs are heavily loaded,
and that it's a problem for the IETF that the organization
relies heavily on finding a solid candidate for each of these
However, I think taking them off the IAOC is *not* the place
to start. It makes more sense to me to sort out the
organizational challenges (of the IESG/IETF, and of the IAB)
that cause overloading of these positions, and *then* see what
makes sense in terms of identifying IAOC participation.
While I look forward to specific proposals from you in those
areas, I want to stress that this proposal doesn't take anyone,
in any role, off the IAOC or Trustees. It merely lets the IESG
and IAB make decisions that are appropriate to the circumstances
and cast of characters each time.
Pulling these positions off the IAOC would succeed in
weakening the IAOC, even as it increases the stress levels in
the positions as the respective Chairs try to figure out what
is going on with the administrative support for the balls they
are trying to keep moving.
See above. If the IAOC members --whomever they might be-- are
keeping the IAB and IESG adequately informed, your comment is,
IMO, just wrong. If they are not, then we have other problems
but the solution to those problems certainly cannot be to enable
the Chairs to behave less like IETF participants and more like
Ietf mailing list