Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF

Brian E Carpenter <> Tue, 23 February 2021 21:50 UTC

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To: Hannes Tschofenig <>, Fernando Gont <>, "''" <>, GENDISPATCH List <>, Keith Moore <>
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From: Brian E Carpenter <>
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Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2021 10:50:28 +1300
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
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On 23-Feb-21 22:51, 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*.

Can you justify "increasing number"? I don't mean compared to 1986, but compared (for example) to 2011? As long as I can remember, people have been concerned about participants who are "goers" rather than "doers" at meetings, and you seem to be adding a further concern, "doers" whose action is to write text rather than write code.

Also, you don't mention operators, whose role is not to write code at all but whose contribution to the IETF is essential. So that's another category of "doers".

I'd like to see some actual facts about these various categories of "doers". What % were they 10 or 20 years ago, and what % are they now? Has the hackathon changed the numbers? Etc.

> I would include this aspect under diversity, particularly when talking about the new leadership election cycles.

Yes, it should be on NomCom's radar. The need for enough ops people has long been understood, but recent development experience is also relevant.

> Participating in some working groups I more and more get the impression to sit in a document writing class rather than in an Internet engineering organization.

Since our principal output is text, that isn't so surprising, but I think there's a case for sending any spec that does not adhere to RFC7942/BCP205 back to the WG.

> Ciao
> Hannes
> *: I am also including authors of protocol specifications that do not implement their own specifications.

That's a bit cruel. In larger organisations, it might be totally infeasible. But again, RFC7942 is our friend.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf <> On Behalf Of Fernando Gont
> Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 1:07 AM
> To: '' <>rg>; GENDISPATCH List <>rg>; Keith Moore <>
> Subject: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
> Folks,
> We have submitted a new I-D, entitled "Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF".
> The I-D is available at:
> We expect that our document be discussed in the gendispatch wg ( But given the breadth of the topic and possible views, we'll be glad to discuss it where necessary/applicable/desired.
> As explicitly noted in our I-D, we're probably only scratching the surface here -- but we believe that our document is probably a good start to discuss many aspects of diversity that deserve discussion.
> Thanks!
> Regards,
> --
> Fernando Gont
> SI6 Networks
> e-mail:
> PGP Fingerprint: 6666 31C6 D484 63B2 8FB1 E3C4 AE25 0D55 1D4E 7492
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