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Re: Reminder: Deadline for input on sub-ip discussion

2002-12-09 20:28:26
--On Monday, 09 December, 2002 22:21 +0100 Harald Tveit
Alvestrand <harald(_at_)alvestrand(_dot_)no> wrote:


On Wed Dec 4th, we asked for input to help us decide on the
future of the SUB-IP Area. See our posting a


I have not been following the work, or WGs, in this area to any
significant degree since last March and was not planning to
comment on this.  But you asked twice...  

My impression is that Bert and Scott have been doing a fine job
in a confused situation and that we all owe them a vote of
thanks for taking on the extra work.  At the same time, I am, as
you know, very concerned about both IESG workload and about our
putting resources into areas and tasks where IETF cannot do an
effective job.  To borrow from another discussion, I would
define "effective" as combining "high quality" with "taking no
longer than absolutely needed to get the work done".

Because I haven't studied the WGs, this is more a comment about
process and management style than about specific WGs and what
should be done about them.  But you asked, so...

From the comments that have been made, especially including some
of the observations in Scott's note, I see no _IETF_
justification for making the area permanent.  Yes, I understand
that some of the people associated with Sub-IP work would prefer
to have their own area/club, but my belief is, that for any work
that isn't _clearly_ in the mainstream of IETF task areas and
responsibities, the justification for IETF's taking that work on
lies in the value-added from interactions with other groups and

In that context, it seems to me that most of the "this should be
in because it involves the interactions between IP and foo" or
"this should be out because it is mostly foo" discussions miss
the critical point.  We either have something unique to add, as
a community, or we don't.  If we don't, then we should leave it
to others: a self-contained group of people who are going to
work a particular, below-neck-of-hourglass problem in relative
isolation  from the rest of the IETF can as well do it
elsewhere.  Their doing so reduced demands on meeting time and
load on the IESG, regardless of how areas are organized in a
given week.  We may be more hospitable to them than some other
group for one reason or another, but that isn't, of necessity,
our job or our problem.  If we do add value, then the value-add
is precisely in the interactions of these groups with other WGs
_outside_ the sub-IP tasks and work area.  

Once we dispose of "make it permanent", then we have more
flexibility about answers.   What should we do?  Well, for
starters and to be very blunt, I'm concerned about the
implicatons of an eight day review starting on 4 December.  The
IESG has known for two years that this point was coming.  An
area meeting was held in Atlanta, but there was no notice to the
general community  that this was going to be a major topic, no
strong mention of it at the plenary or pre-Atlanta mailings to
the whole IETF, etc.  I have to consider that a symptom of a
more general problem.   The version of "more general problem"
that is least damning to the IESG is "too busy with other things
to get that organized", but that answer calls for fewer WGs, and
perhaps fewer areas, not more.  But, for this specific topic,
that is water over the dam.

My answer is, I think, (4), where my (4) is fairly close in most
respects to the notes from Paul and Grenville.  Extend the
thing, in its present form, because the disruption of moving
things around that (at least one of) the relevant ADs claims are
near completion is just not worth the cost to make a point.  But
do it for a fixed, and short, time.  My recommendation is that
you extend it, in its present form, through the evening of 20
March 2003 and that you put a status report on the IESG plenary
agenda (the previous night?).  I recommend that no new WGs be
added to the area between now and then and that the IESG
evaluate moving ones that will need longer lives out well before
that date (and make those moves if the evaluation indicates that
to be appropriate).  

I would hope for a summary of which WGs have been shut down or
moved, which ones have submitted drafts and are awaiting
publication before shutting down, and which ones appear to need
to be around longer.   If the latter group is small, I believe
that they should then be moved and the area shut down.  If it is
large, I believe that all of the remaining WGs should be forced
through a serious review and rechartering process, without the
assumption that it is in the IETF's interest that they continue
(note that I'm assuming that all WGs that have an obvious role
in other areas will have been moved out before then and that
these are only the residuals which don't clearly belong
somewhere else).  If the nomcom and confirming bodies do their
jobs on time, I would presume and hope that you (and the current
IESG) would involve incoming IESG members in the review and
discussion -- they are the ones who will need to live with the

This implies that, while the temporary area is extended, the
IESG might not have to appoint new ADs at all.  And, if it does,
they would more likely be appointed to oversee the endgame of
final document review and publication rather than to manage
active WGs, which is normally a much less time-consuming

It is time to start reducing the workload and overload on the
IESG rather than figuring out more ways to [re]organize it.