Re: Agenda experiment for IETF 103 in November in Bangkok

John C Klensin <> Mon, 14 May 2018 17:53 UTC

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Date: Mon, 14 May 2018 13:53:36 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Stewart Bryant <>, Loa Andersson <>, Paul Wouters <>, Linda Dunbar <>
cc: IETF Chair <>, ietf <>
Subject: Re: Agenda experiment for IETF 103 in November in Bangkok
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Yes.  Another option would be to lengthen all or most of the
refreshment breaks.

Bottom line and a suggestion:

(1) Especially if the IESG has concluded that informal
conversations have become more important relative to the value
of WG sessions, BOFs, and two plenaries, it may be time for the
IESG, with the support of the community to become much more
aggressive about reviewing whether proposed WGs will actually
serve the Internet and whether established ones are doing so.
For a possible starting point, see the now-ancient
draft-huston-ietf-pact and possibly draft-klensin-overload for
discussions of related topics more than fifteen years ago.

(2) Historically, the main justification for thrice-yearly and
week-long IETF meetings has been to facilitate cross-area review
and broad perspectives on technical work.  While there are
clearly exceptions, most informal discussions, other than
unmonitored, un-minuted BoFs, are among those who already know
and/or work with each other, so they don't contribute much to
that diversity of technical perspectives.  Given improvements in
remote communications facilities, cut IETF meetings back to two
a year, concentrate on cross-area activities and even technical
plenaries that focus on the IETF's work, and require strong
justification for WGs who are making progress to take up f2f
meeting time.

I note that (2) would significantly change the cost models, both
for running the IETF and for attendees and would do so by
reducing costs rather than raising rates.

I don't imagine this suggestion will go any further than its
predecessors did, but it is worth thinking about such options as
worse ones, like this Friday plan, are explored.


--On Monday, May 14, 2018 10:39 +0100 Stewart Bryant
<> wrote:

> I think this is a silly experiment. There may be a few who use
> it to meet informally, but given the reluctance of so many to
> stay to Friday even when there are formal meetings, I think
> the IETF on Friday is likely to become even more of a ghost
> town.
> If you want to create  informal time, I suggest the IESG
> simply declare some mid-week open slots, where nothing is
> allowed to be scheduled. Ideally neither the first or the last
> slots in the day. That way people will be in the building but
> free to talk, just like they are for the Sunday reception, and
> for most lunch, refreshment breaks and dinner breaks.