Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF

Dan Harkins <> Tue, 23 February 2021 14:21 UTC

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Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2021 06:21:23 -0800
From: Dan Harkins <>
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To: Hannes Tschofenig <>, Fernando Gont <>, "''" <>, GENDISPATCH List <>, Keith Moore <>
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
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   Hi Hannes,

On 2/23/21 1:51 AM, Hannes Tschofenig wrote:
> Hi Fernando,
> I just took a quick look at the document and I missed one point that increasingly worries me working in the IETF, namely the increasing number of participants who are not interested to write any code*.

   That's a great point! One of the attractions (to me, at least) of the 
IETF was
that it wasn't some guy with some slides and a story. It was someone 
with an idea,
a reference implementation of the idea, and results of (partially) 
deploying the
code and seeing what it did. That was very compelling. We learned things 
from the
running code that actually helped improve the specification. We were doing

   When I think back on it, such a demand to have running code must've 
been quite
a barrier to inclusiveness (which might've had an impact on some axes of 
for some. But isn't that a good thing? Doesn't a certain amount of 
exclusivity, or
demand for some standard for participation, result in better product? I 
think it
does. We should be engineering the Internet. I hope we don't throw out 
the baby
with the bathwater when we get so focused on diversity and inclusion.

   Yes, there has been less and less a demand on running code (sadface 
emoji) and
I share your worry. Not only are some participants not interested in 
writing any
code, we are also coming up with work that does not require any code at 
all. Look
at the WG that people want to charter here! There is no demand for any code
whatsoever. And there is even a reluctance to state a linkage between 
proposal and
desired result, the basis of our engineering-- "how we get there with 
this idea" is
not to be discussed. This is all very worrying.



"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to
escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius