Re: IESG approval status of rfc2821bis2008-06-06 11:54:53
DISCUSS should only be used if the document has a showstopper that needs discussion. The IESG needs to get their act together on that.
I disagree with the statement on how DISCUSS should be used. I don't think that's either the intent of DISCUSS or the way that it should be interpreted.
I believe DISCUSS simply means that an AD believes some item of a document needs further discussion before it should be approved for publication and/or its intended status. Yes, it does impede progress of the document until such discussion takes place. And yes, the AD is expected to provide an example of what, in his mind, would remove the need for that DISCUSS. But it is not (or should not be) tantamount to a demand that the document be changed in a way that the AD specifies - or at all.
What is needed, fundamentally, is a response to the AD's concerns. This might take the form of:
- a revised version of the document(s) with changes along the lines of the AD's request, or - a revised version of the document(s) with other changes intended to address the AD's concern, or - an explanation of why the AD's concerns do not warrant changes to the document, or - some combination of the above - e.g. a revised document with some of the AD's requested changes, or concerns otherwise addressed, along with an explanation of why the remaining changes/concerns do not warrant changes to the document.
At least when I was on IESG, there was considerable pressure on ADs from other IESG members to move documents forward, as long as a WG or document author made a reasonable effort to address the AD's concerns. It was not considered appropriate for an AD to dictate a set of changes to a WG or document author.
However, outside of the IESG people often interpreted a DISCUSS as being a mandate. This actually made it more difficult to get resolution on issues and to move documents forward. It put the AD in a Catch-22 situation where he was expected to "solve the WG's problem" by stating, in detail, what would allow him to remove his DISCUSS (and to do so in a very short amount of time). But on receiving those suggestions, the WG would often interpret them as a mandate and push back strongly or threaten appeal when really only some discussion was necessary.
Assuming that perpetual gap still exists (and it certainly looks like it from here), I think that's what needs to be fixed.
Basically I don't think DISCUSS should cause WG chairs or document editors to get their backs against the wall.