Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF

Dominique Lazanski <> Tue, 23 February 2021 08:50 UTC

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From: Dominique Lazanski <>
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Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2021 09:50:06 +0100
Cc: Bron Gondwana <>,,
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To: Fernando Gont <>
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
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> On 23 Feb 2021, at 09:40, Fernando Gont <> wrote:
> Hello, Dominique,
> On 23/2/21 05:18, Dominique Lazanski wrote:
>> I would support Bron’s experience and also say that there are several other barriers to entry that I’ve found. One is different approaches to topics than the mainstream IETF approach held by most IETF attendees. I am thinking about privacy/encryption, for example.
> Could you elaborate a bit more on this one? e.g., some example (so that we can understand better what you mean)... and if you can think of anything that might be done to improve things in this respect, that would also be nice.

Sure! This is purely my experience, but I have found it challenging (and hostile) to engage in controversial topics which don’t have consensus. I think encryption is the most obvious one and consolidation another. I don’t want to dwell on the issues, but would rather suggest solutions. I think it would be great to organise open sessions of an hour just on these topics focused specifically on having difficult and challenging conversations only about one topic. Obviously we have open IAB, plenary and etc, but a focused, short meeting would be one idea.

>> But the other big barrier to entry is the draft upload tools. For a new person attending for the first time the tools are a relic of 1990 of thereabouts and can be confusing and difficult.
> FWIW, we have already started to work on a revision of the draft (working copy at:, and this is what we currently have in the Section 8.2 of the upcoming rev:
> ---- cut here ----
> 8.2.  Difficulty in Authoring and Submitting Internet-Drafts
>   There are so many formatting rules that an Internet-Draft (and
>   eventually an RFC) needs to comply to, that in practice the only
>   reasonable way create and submit an Internet-Draft is via the set of
>   tools available at: . Tools such as xml2rfc
>   are of a lot of help to produce documents that comply with the
>   Internet-Draft formatting rules -- but its error messages might
>   result cryptic to the unexperienced user.
>   The number of tools has expanded so much that they probably deserve
>   their own guidelines.  And existing guidelines such as
>   [ID-Guidelines] should probably be updated with the assumption that
>   Internet-Drafts will be produced with the set of available tools.
>      This means that e.g. it becomes less important to the Internet-
>      Draft author what formatting rules a document needs to comply to,
>      since the existing tools will guarantee such compliance.  On the
>      other hand, an author may benefit from guidelines on how to use
>      the set of available tools.
> ---- cut here ----
> Is there anything you'd suggest adding to it?

This is great news! I will definitely go to git and add a few things.

>> In any case, I shall join the gendispatch group to discuss further!
> Please do, but also feel free to discuss it here if you wish, too.
> Thanks a lot!
> Regards,
> -- 
> Fernando Gont
> SI6 Networks
> e-mail:
> PGP Fingerprint: 6666 31C6 D484 63B2 8FB1 E3C4 AE25 0D55 1D4E 7492