Re: Scenario C prerequisites

sob@harvard.edu (scott bradner) Wed, 22 September 2004 13:19 UTC

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From: sob@harvard.edu (scott bradner)
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Subject: Re: Scenario C prerequisites
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Harald opines:
> > re: 1/ Considering the level of participation in this discussion on the
> > IETF list I do not see how one could assert that there was IETF
> > consensus without an explicit discussion at an IETF plenary - I do not
> > think that just issuing a last call (as envisioned by the Scenario C
> > document) would be seen by about anyone as an adequate involvement of
> > the community.
> 
> I am not at all certain of that. In what way is 20 people arguing in front 
> of a thousand people in a room more "community involvement" than the same 
> 20 people arguing in front of a thousand people on a mailing list?

because this way you are sure that the thousand people at least know
what is going on and have a chance to express their view if they think
things are going wrong (in person or on the list during last call)

> Our tradition as IETF has been to declare that mailing list discussion is 
> the final arbiter of consensus. If we need to abandon that principle for 
> organizational matters, we leave ourselves in a situation where we can only 
> make significant decisions at 4-month intervals; that is a theoretically 
> defensible position, but sharply limits the scope of what we can hope to 
> accomplish in any given timeframe.

I trust we will not be reorganizing at this level all that often - I
think that adding or subtracting an area does not need a plenary session
but changing the legal basis of the endeavor is a rather important
step, one that should not be done on the basis of 10 people expressing
their opinion on a list.

i.e., I think some things are important enough to require the full
measure of due diligence - this level of reorganization is an example as
was the ravin discussion - waiting until the next face to face meeting
for a public discussion does not seem to be too big a issue when we 
are talking about a change that (historically) comes around every 
18 years.

Scott

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