Re: snarls in real life

Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com> Wed, 21 April 2021 05:26 UTC

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Subject: Re: snarls in real life
To: Bron Gondwana <brong@fastmailteam.com>, ietf@ietf.org
References: <93fedaa0-5ad0-dcc0-ff01-43b8e1c97989@mtcc.com> <19f2b2e1-6365-480a-86f2-111377cac2de@www.fastmail.com>
From: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>
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Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2021 17:26:19 +1200
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On 21-Apr-21 14:46, Bron Gondwana wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 21, 2021, at 11:31, Michael Thomas wrote:
>> So against my better judgement, I posted my Quic, the Elephant in the 
>> Room post to the Quic list. Within 24 hours one of the snarling working 
>> group chairs declared it off topic and demanded it stop. This is what I 
>> mean about grotesque fiefdoms where the working groups are so fricking 
>> insular that any commentary outside of their blinders is not tolerated. 
>> The thought that no working group business can take place in the face of 
>> anything other than something directly relatable working group business 
>> is a complete piece of idiocy and shuts down anything they don't want to 
>> hear. People are capable of doing all of this all at once.
> 
> Oh cool - thanks for posting that.  It's a very instructive thread.
> 
> Some general thoughts:
> 
>   * it's not enough to be technically correct (disclaimer: I'm not well enough versed in this area to know if you are), it's also important to do the work to socialise your idea and persuade others so that they become evangelists for you as well.
>   * if you require the assistance of others to run experiments for you, it's wise not to piss them off
>   * there's a whole fallacy somewhere which I've had to address a few times already in my own working groups, but which I still commonly see, along the lines of "big companies have masses of resources and hence can easily run experiments or implement arbitrary ideas - and have an obligation to do so when requested/demanded".  They don't, you have to persuade them just as much as anyone else, plus they're slower to move and harder to persuade.
> 
> I'm no expert on QUIC or the technical merits of your proposal, but I doubt the effectiveness of the strategy you employed in that email in getting anything other than the response that was forthcoming.

Every WG Chair, especially for a WG that has tight focus on a specific goal, meets the problem of potentially off-charter discussions that potentially hamper progress.

Personally, ideally, I would hope that I'd raise the question whether something is off-charter before I sent a cease and desist letter. If something is agreed to be off-charter, there is no doubt that the WG chairs can request people to take it elsewhere. It happens often.

I have no opinion about whether the discussion in question is on-charter. From a quick glance at the archive, that doesn't seem to have been discussed prior to the chair's message. Going straight to the cease and desist stage seems abrupt, to say the least.
(Unless there was preceding off-list mail, perhaps.)

Regards
    Brian


> 
> Apropos of my recent response to a question from Jay over in the other thread - prodding others until they are triggered to annoyance and pointing at their responses to say "look, I've found badness" is a fine art for sure.
> 
> Keith asked for citation - I dug it up because I wanted to see the context too - so here's the link:
> 
> https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/quic/e7ChoIKSopdnn4NcXwOAalTcdIY/
> 
> Everyone can make their own judgement.  Myself, I don't come out of that thread persuaded to become an evangelist for your approach.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Bron.
> --
>   Bron Gondwana, CEO, Fastmail Pty Ltd
>   brong@fastmailteam.com
> 
>