Re: Remote participation fees

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Sun, 15 February 2015 22:49 UTC

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Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 17:49:23 -0500
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: Simon Pietro Romano <spromano@unina.it>, Ted Lemon <Ted.Lemon@nominum.com>
Subject: Re: Remote participation fees
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--On Sunday, February 15, 2015 21:24 +0100 Simon Pietro Romano
<spromano@unina.it>; wrote:

> If we were serious (as we are) we'd keep on doing our best to
> improve remote participation support. Most of the functions
> you cite are, in my view, if not already there ay least VERY
> close to what can be defined a reliable service suite for
> remote participation. I encourage you to look back at past
> meetings and compare the remote experience you had from one
> meeting to the other in the last three years. Please don't
> tell me we didn't do giant steps towards a good service. And
> when I say 'we', I mean the IETF leadership, the secretariat,
> the NOC, some people like you who have provided invaluable
> feedback on end users experience...and the Meetecho team.

Simon,

I know you are serious and that you and your colleagues have
been making incredible efforts to make things work.  I've said
that several times, tried to say it in this thread, and want to
say it again now.  I feel the same way about the Secretariat and
NOC staff. 

I agree that giant steps have been made, largely because of your
collective efforts.

At the same time, Monday morning problem patterns continue and
are dealt with as emergencies rather than something that can be
eliminated by adequate testing.   I've had you and your
colleagues tell me that a particular problem can't be fixed
during a WG session because it would be disruptive to the
session.  We've had a brief discussion or two about what you
could do with high-end remotely controllable cameras, especially
with a few more people helping out your team.  We still don't
have a regular plan (defined as something I can know about and
count on when I'm deciding whether to travel to a meeting) for
coverage of Sunday tutorial sessions.  We've also had a bit of a
discussion about whether it would be reasonable to interrupt
speakers to remind them not to pace the floor out of the camera
frame.

On a different dimension, several people, notably SM, have
pushed for better recognition of remote participants in the
process --including but not limited to concerns about binding a
Nomcom eligibility formula that stresses in-person meeting
attendance to several other things where rights to participate
in various ways are tied to Nomcom eligibility.  I don't know if
he would agree, but my sense has been that his ideas haven't
gotten off the ground --not because they were the wrong
solutions, but because there is a shortage of general
recognition that the issues are important.

I think there is a difference between "the best it is possible
to do with volunteer efforts (even nearly superhuman efforts)
and some help from the Secretariat" and "what we could be doing
if we really believed that effective and reliable remote
participation was critical to the IETF".  I agree that we
(again, due in very large measure to your efforts and that of
your colleagues) are getting quite close to that first
objective.  I think we would be even closer if the community
stopped wasting time, facilities, and bandwidth on WebEx and
concentrated those resources on Meetecho.  But what we are not
doing -- and what I think the community and its formal
leadership are not serious enough about-- is that second
category.  

As examples, should your colleagues and the NOC be told by the
IESG that, if there are technical problems with remote feeds or
input, you are entirely justified in stopping a WG meeting to
get those problems resolved and should do so?  If there is an
active discussion in a WG and a remote participant cannot
contribute to it do to lag, some technical problem, or how the
mic line is being managed, does she have the right to protest
and, if so, how should that protest be expressed?   As someone
else suggested, should we have a "put hand up" or "put me in the
queue"  function that applied to both those in the room and
remote participants on an equal (or fair) basis?   Should we
really move toward moderation of sessions and, if so, how and
under what rules?    If I'm remote and asking a question at the
virtual mic (or having it asked on my behalf) should my picture
be on the screen in the meeting room and projected to others
and, if so, how would be do that?

I'm sure you have a list of your own.  I also note that the
items on the list above are at least partially non-technical.

"Not serious" was a comment entirely about things like that
second list and the amount of serious (sic) attention it seems
(or, more accurately, does not seem) to be getting, despite your
efforts, my efforts, and the efforts of several others.

Thanks again for your efforts, without while remote
participation would be, IMO, hopeless rather than just about
good enough from a technical standpoint (and that in spite of
some factors working against you).

     john