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Re: IESG approval status of rfc2821bis

2008-06-06 02:21:45

   OK, John, you've had your rant, and hopefully slept on it.
Calm down a bit, and pay more attention to where you actually stand.

John C Klensin <john+smtp(_at_)jck(_dot_)com> wrote:

We have reached an impasse with the IESG about how to proceed
with 2821bis. 

   Not so. 2821bis is in status "Revised-ID needed". This is one of
the two normal states for a draft that's not approved the first time
it's brought up at an IESG telechat. You can submit a revised draft
or you can let it sit in that state.

   There is no "impasse" unless you refuse to submit any changes at
all; and the impasse, if any, is not with "the IESG" -- it's between
you and Lisa.

The problem is an outstanding DISCUSS about changing all of the
examples that do not use RFC 2606 (e.g., "" and friends)
names to use that convention, with the possible exception of those
that point to ISI or USC. 

   That's not precisely true. The balloting on 2821bis-10 had
DISCUSSes from Russ Housley and Magnus Westerlund. DISCUSS is a
status for balloting on a particular draft. The _text_ listed in
the "Open Web Ballot" link is guidance to the shepherding AD, not
a non-negotiable demand.

   At the telechat May 8th, Lisa chose the status "Revised-ID
needed", apparently figuring you'd change a few example domains
and submit a new draft, while she investigated the implementation
report problem. You are not required to make any particular
changes, least of all to slavishly follow the DISCUSS comments
(which, to tell truth, were jotted rather quickly under serious
time constraints). And please don't forget the four ADs that had
non-DISCUSS comments. "Revised-ID needed" _means_ you're expected
to pay some attention to them also.

I now have an explicit note in hand that says "I await a revised
document or an appeal",

   Presumably from Lisa...

so we are now at a choice point. I'm inclined toward an appeal

   That's a normal first reaction...

or other push-back action

   There's a lot of potential ground there, I guess: you certainly
could email Lisa your reaction to _all_ the comments, showing why
you believe _none_ of them justify a revised ID, or you could even
submit a new draft changing nothing but the date...

but am not the only one who would be affected by a further delay
with this document, so want to explain the situation as I see it.

   (I'm going to skip over most of this.)

My position in general is that

      (i) The IESG does not get to invent rules that are then
      used to block progression of a document without
      consulting the community.

   You are quite correct that we have a problem of process here,
but you seriously mischaracterize the process problem.

   "The IESG" is not inventing any rules here: individual ADs are
trying to apply existing rules as they see them. You know who they
are -- you can corner them in Dublin, or wherever, and explain why
you think they misunderstand those rules.

      (ii) Given the pressure on authors --especially WG
      Chairs and document editors-- to simply go along with AD
      demands and preferences, reasonable or not, in order to
      get documents published rather than permanently stalled,

   As you well know, that's an unfortunate misunderstaning. ADs
are expected to state what it would take to make them consent to
publication -- but that's strictly in order to ensure that _some_
path forward exists. That authors choose that as the road of least
resistance is, frankly, wrong but very understandable. That authors
then blame "the IESG" for this is wrong, period.

      I do not believe that "the IESG has been doing this for
      years" constitutes evidence that the community has
      approved of the IESG's doing so.

   I stipulate your belief, but I do not share it.

      (iii) Even if one were to concede that the IESG has the
      authority to make this a requirement (which I do not),

   Nor do they. They are following a process aiming at consensus
among themselves. No such "requirement" exists.

      it is abusive [snip]

   You make a reasonable case; but you argue a straw-man.

The one issue that _is_ specific to 2821bis (and 2821) is that
DRUMS explicitly considered the question of what to do about the
821 examples.

   DRUMS has closed. Few, if any, of the current ADs remember it.
None of them worship it. Life goes on...

I believe that there are four possible ways forward, at least
ones that I wouldn't find very offensive (I'm open to other

(1) I have offered the AD in question the option of changing the
DISCUSS to a Comment,

   This is silly. The _document_ is in "Revised-ID needed". You
can revise it, or not. If you do, it will get fresh balloting.

(2) People can convince me that the principles I see here aren't
very important and we should just give in, make the changes, and
get the document published.

   I don't volunteer to try to convince you of anything. But I
do remind you that Lisa very likely hoped you'd also address the
non-DISCUSS comments.

(3)  I can launch an appeal,

   I can't speak for anyone who'd consider an appeal; but it looks
to be to be a waste of time. It can't possibly be faster; it will
_really_ annoy folks who would be better friends than enemies;
and it's hard to imagine any outcome close to what you want.

(4) Either instead of (3) or in addition to it, people could
conclude that the behavior and argument that the IESG can and
should do this because it thinks it can and has been doing so,
despite any documentation or evidence of consensus, is
sufficiently abusive that the AD in question should be singled
out as an illustrative example and recalled. 

   I couldn't possibly support a recall action against Lisa,
Russ, or Magnus (you do mean one of those three, right?).

What is your pleasure?

   Personally, I hope you'll simply submit _some_ "revised ID"
or drop it.

   The _problem_, as I said before, is the process. We have been
trying to follow a model of "maturity" advancement which we all
know just isn't working. "Advancement" to Draft Standard simply
doesn't happen in any ordinary cases. Many good folks have
exhausted themselves trying to get consensus for a real revision
of RFC 2026. Our whole exercise to try to follow it here looks
very much like battling windmills.

   There is another option I almost hesitate to mention. Some of
us, at least, have invested the effort into this because of a
belief that RFC 2821 needs a few "maturity" updates. We _could_
try to write up a WG charter for this work, and ask Lisa and
Chris to charter a real Working Group. (Some of your problem,
I believe, stems from having to submit 2821bis as an
Individual Submission.)

John Leslie <john(_at_)jlc(_dot_)net>