Re: Observations on (non-technical) changes affecting IETF operations

Eliot Lear <> Mon, 28 March 2016 08:15 UTC

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Subject: Re: Observations on (non-technical) changes affecting IETF operations
To:, Melinda Shore <>,
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From: Eliot Lear <>
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Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2016 10:15:05 +0200
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Hi Dave,

On 3/19/16 8:46 PM, Dave Crocker wrote:
>      1. When we start an effort, we do not press for demonstrated
> community need -- but more importantly, demonstrated community
> interest in /using/ the output.  So the folk who work on a topic tend
> to have no sense of urgency.  (Even when there is a claimed sense of
> urgency, such as for STIR, the work often is not pursued in a fashion
> that matches the claim, with an eye towards rapid development and
> deployment.)

This is not so straight forward as one might think.  Some markets are
quite complex and some will stall or fragment without standards, even if
the key players in those spaces know nothing of the IETF.  I think in
these circumstances it's incumbent on the IESG to be perceptive and
reach beyond our normal community to take a "best guess" as to what is
needed.  IMHO this is the case with ITS, for example.

Sometimes the guesses will be wrong, and we should simply allow for some
efforts that may not succeed.  So long as those are the exception and
not the rule, we're in a good space.
>      2. The folk making IETF approvals feel an unfortunate fear of
> letting flawed specifications through the process, even though the
> fear does not produce obviously superior results.  So we impose high
> barriers to entry and high barriers to completion.

Indeed.  And there are many dimensions to that fear.