Re: Out-of-area ADs [Re: IETF areas re-organisation steps]

Nico Williams <> Sun, 28 December 2014 23:13 UTC

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Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2014 17:13:01 -0600
From: Nico Williams <>
To: Pete Resnick <>
Subject: Re: Out-of-area ADs [Re: IETF areas re-organisation steps]
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On Sun, Dec 28, 2014 at 11:15:06AM -0500, Pete Resnick wrote:
> On 12/26/14 1:51 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> Do note the explanation for this in our original message, as I think
> you have an embedded assumption that's at least non-obvious:
> >There are numerous instances where the constituency of a WG exists
> >in a particular IETF area, but the most appropriate AD for that work happens
> >to be in a different area, or where the ADs in the area are simply overloaded
> >and an AD outside of the area is perfectly capable of managing the work.
> To expand a bit: We do think having WGs in particular Areas is
> useful, and we think generally we're getting our assignment of WGs
> to particular Areas correct: At the scale of an Area, it is
> generally quite obvious and natural that the kind of work we want
> done in a WG falls to a particular IETF constituency, and those
> folks are normally in a particular Area.
> However, we have not found that ADs are so specialized that there is
> a "correct" AD for every WG, or that the AD whose main area (or
> Area) of expertise is always the best person to manage any
> particular WG. [...]
> We think the current way we've been doing assignments are a bit too
> rigid. It *should* be normal for us to assign specific WGs to the
> best AD for that WG, even if the best AD for the Area happens to be
> a different AD. That flexibility should let us redistribute the load
> as needed, and hopefully make it easier for the NomCom to fill
> slots.


For me then this comes down to: once-in-a-while "restructurings" that
consist of one-but-more-likely-many WG/AD reassignments, versus more
frequent one-or-two WG/AD reassignments.

For me "flexibility" as to WG/AD assigments, among other things, means
that each such assignment can't be allowed to require IETF consensus
with 100+-post threads on  To me WG/AD assigments should
be a matter strictly for the IESG and WG chairs; WG participant and IETF
input should be welcomed, but their consensus should not be formally

The alternatives are once-a-year restructurings yielding long threads (OK), less frequent restructurings (not OK), or
death by a thousand 100-post threads.

I think[*] I much prefer frequent one-off WG/AD reassignments, _without_
the overhead of IETF consensus in each case.  Someone is bound to see a
conspiracy in that view, which is probably why this isn't on the table :(


[*] Eh, I can't be too certain about it; I've no idea how that might
    work out IRL.  Maybe we'll hate the result, but we can always go
    back to the alternatives later.