Re: adapting IETF in light of github and similar tools

"Martin J. Dürst" <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp> Wed, 21 April 2021 06:32 UTC

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Subject: Re: adapting IETF in light of github and similar tools
To: ietf@ietf.org
References: <001001d7360b$2384e0d0$6a8ea270$@acm.org> <CE831FEB-1AC8-486E-A4BD-BFA64DF38E71@gmail.com>
From: =?UTF-8?Q?Martin_J=2e_D=c3=bcrst?= <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
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On 2021-04-21 02:49, Fred Baker wrote:

>> On Apr 20, 2021, at 10:33 AM, Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org> wrote:
>>
>> Does anyone think GitHub is perfect for IETF use already?
> 
> I do not. I’m not sure that a process or tool exists that can be described in those terms, including our present processes and tools.

I know some very productive open source contributors who do not think 
GitHub is perfect for source code development.

I wouldn't expect GitHub to be perfect for IETF use, which has usage 
patterns quite a bit different from source code development.

Also, users are individuals with different work habits and preferences. 
It is very rare that a single tool fits all users perfectly, even for 
the same range of work. That definitely also applies to our present 
process and tools.

The greatest feature in GitHub is pull requests, allowing to provide 
suggestions for changes to text in an *actionable* form. When I worked 
on specs at the W3C or for the IETF, I often wished I had such a tool.

The main drawbacks are GitHub's chattiness (it's not possible to close 
an issue with a comment in one go), and the lack of context that forces 
one to go back to GitHub often. These could be improved upon, but I 
guess especially the second is something they wouldn't want to do; once 
you have your users, you don't want to let them go.

Regards,    Martin.