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Re: Unsticking rfc2821bis

2008-07-19 21:54:51

At 16:29 19-07-2008, Ned Freed wrote:
One thing that contribute to this accretion is narrowness of view. Say a couple
of documents come along that happen to share a problem. Why not make a rule to
address that? Seems quite in line with our general goal of trying to produce
the best documents possible, right? But while such "solutions" may address the
immediate problem, we almost always fail to consider the long term effects. We

That's why rules should not be crafted on the spur of the moment to address specific cases.

Even worse is the fact that quite often the rules we make fail to actually
solve the problem they are intended to solve. This is in part because we're

That's classic software engineering.

good at solving engineering problems but our expertise in solving human factor
problems is, um, limited.

I can understand that argument in the case of problems discussed in a WG. An organization still has to address such problems for it to function as a group of people coming together for a common purpose.

A good example of this is the I-D cutoff which we're dissuing right now on the
main IETF list. Irrespective of how important you think having a stable set of

And that was previously discussed not so long ago. If the same problem keeps repeating itself, then there is something wrong.

At 18:34 19-07-2008, Frank Ellermann wrote:
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.

The published rules were never the "real rules". :-) That's not a problem unless we want a rigid set of rules for technical drafts with the implications coming with that. People new, and not so new, to the IETF ask how it works. Some expect a rule book which can be used as a guide to follow to the letter to get things right.

Picture a few good people sitting together discussing about how to get others to join the discussion. They know that some people are good at playing the rule game but those people may have motives which are at odds with the spirit of the group. The good people share this quaint notion about openness and fairness and as such cannot exclude individuals wishing to join the group. They coin a term which allows open participation without permitting a sub-group or a majority of one to weigh in unfairly in the decision making process. The term is neither defined nor are there any rules for it for obvious reasons.

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