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Re: Unsticking rfc2821bis

2008-07-19 20:56:38

<ned+ietf-smtp(_at_)mrochek(_dot_)com> wrote:

a few of us, myself included, have consistently pushed
back against this accretion. Sadly, most of the time I,
and I suspect most others, have been unsuccessful.

Without Brian's marauder's map the maze of rules quietly
attempting to overrule other rules would be a hopeless
mess.  That the "real" rules are sometimes unrelated to
the published rules, or are only documented in expired
drafts and obscure checklists published years ago makes
it certainly interesting to get technical drafts right.

But isn't this begging the question at least a little? In particular, I see
very little evidence that all these rules are helping us get things "right" in
the only sense that matters: Producing clear technical specifications for the
protocols people need.

Even the IESG is now having trouble keeping all of it

The decision to abandon the ION experiment was strange,
a BCP or updating an existing BCP takes far more energy
than creating or updating an ION.  OTOH a BCP can have
real authority for some time, it is supposed to reflect
a former IETF consensus and survived an IETF Last Call.

Indeed. I wasn't especially happy with IONs myself, but mostly because they
failed to capture enough "stuff".

the fact is people have routinely routed around what
they perceive as the damage this restiction causes
simply by posting revisions elsewhere and calling
people's attention to them.

Right, if folks have an idea what the purpose of rules
is they'll find ways to break them if necessary.  OTOH
if somebody prepared for a meeting using the "official"
draft and asks critical questions, and the editor then
tries to weasel out of that with some "editor's copy"
posted elsewhere, they might find that jabber and audio
can't take snapshots of a middle finger...

Been there, seen that happen, didn't play out that way. The painful reality is
that another effect of all these byzantine rules is that fewer and fewer people
are willing and able to navigate the treacherous waters we have created. We're
now so desperate to get people to take on documents that nobody objects when
the rules are bent this way.


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