Re: Registration details for IETF 108

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Tue, 02 June 2020 17:15 UTC

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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2020 13:15:08 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Registration details for IETF 108
To: Spencer Dawkins at IETF <>
Cc: Jay Daley <>, IETF <>
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On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 12:41 PM Spencer Dawkins at IETF <> wrote:

> To the community, not just to Jay,
> I'm current on the mail thread as of when I hit "reply all", but am
> replying here because that's point in the discussion I had an opinion
> about.
> On Mon, Jun 1, 2020 at 5:50 PM Jay Daley <> wrote:
>> On 2/06/2020, at 10:39 AM, Stephen Farrell <>
>> wrote:
>> Hiya,
>> On 01/06/2020 23:14, Jay Daley wrote:
>> Would it still apply when onsite meetings start to happen ?
>> No decision has been made about that.
>> Would it be sensible to promise/ensure that a community
>> discussion that determines direction, within the bounds
>> of practicality, precedes, rather than follows, that
>> decision? FWIW, I think it would and it's important that
>> that be the case. IOW, let's sort out our approach to
>> this before the timeframe of IETF109.
>> It would be excellent if that could happen.
> Speaking only for myself, my IETF 107 wasn't actually canceled all at
> once, but enough working group chairs and research group chairs canceled
> meetings that I probably should have requested refunds then, instead of
> waiting for the IESG's pronouncement. I might have still gone to Vancouver
> if the IESG hadn't canceled the face-to-face meeting, but it would have
> been to show support for the organization, not to get specific work done.
> See the discussion about whether working groups have an incentive to meet
> during IETF virtual meeting weeks for more details, but the community
> really does have a lot of influence on the decision to resume in-person
> meetings, whether anyone else thinks they do, or not.
> So, I'm reading Stephan's point about IETF 109 as "if the community is
> going to have an opinion about whether IETF 109 is virtual, we should
> probably start that discussion, like, now". Did I misread that?
> If I'm good so far, my questions are
> on this mailing list, or elsewhere?
> who's sending the first e-mail to start the discussion?

There is a discussion of sorts on manycouches. I don't quite have time for
that at the moment (working on a technical proposal).

Having a discussion of anything related to IETF 108 is pointless because
there were no real decisions to be made. Discussion of 109 seems much more
to the point as there are still options open.

The constraint with 109 is that while the IETF can decide NOT to have the
meeting, it cannot decide that it will. There are too many other factors
involved. Not least among them the likelihood that many of us may be
unemployed by then. The notion that the winds blowing through the rest of
the economy won't affect tech seems somewhat optimistic to me.

What we can usefully discuss is:

* Is it better to decide to cancel now rather than continue in an uncertain
* Does it make sense to concentrate meetings in a single week with the
inevitable scheduling conflicts that then arise?
* What sort of work does and does not work at remote meetings?
* How far do we want the IETF community to extend?

The last one is something that I think people should think about seriously.
One of the big drawbacks to IETF for many network related groups was the
cost of participation: Three in person meetings a year. Thats more than
most folk working on open source apps can afford.

Consider the following scenario: IETF moves to schedule with one in person
meeting and two virtuals a year with most of the WG effort taking place in
bi-weekly interims. At that point the cost of participation in IETF is
lower than OASIS or W3C. And maybe IETF becomes an attractive venue for a
lot of efforts that it isn't attractive for at the mo.

And that then gets us into further consideration of the role of the
secretariat, IESG, RFCs and so on. How much control do we actually want?
The IETF is rather strange in that the constitution gives the IESG the
highest level of direct involvement in WG decisions and the least
accountability to the membership (none, the membership cannot appoint or
remove and isn't even recognized as a membership).

Now we are at the point where it is impossible to carry on as in the past,
it seems now is a good time to think about how we think we should carry on.