Re: Quality of Directorate reviews

Keith Moore <> Wed, 06 November 2019 15:32 UTC

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Subject: Re: Quality of Directorate reviews
To: Ralph Droms <>
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From: Keith Moore <>
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Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2019 10:32:10 -0500
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On 11/6/19 10:19 AM, Ralph Droms wrote:

>> As long as working groups are as siloed as they are, this is unlikely any WG that affects interests that are outside of its narrow scope.   And it's very dangerous to assume that WGs are competent to produce high quality work in isolation at least with our current processes.   Though I'd certainly be in favor of some kind of explicit extra-WG review earlier in a WG's or document's lifespan.
> We don't want to assume WGs are competent to produce high quality work, but we should certainly expect that they are.

I'm not even sure what that means.   And that seems like a tricky wire 
to balance on.

Let me state the problem in a different way:  Most WGs labor for years 
to produce a few documents, sometimes reaching "rough consensus" mostly 
by exhaustion, and the level of effort invested is such that it takes 
tremendous will to completely reject their output even if it's horrible. 
   Fortunately such output is usually not horrible, but it's not unusual 
for the result to fail to consider negative effects, and/or for the 
documents to be poorly written.    At that point the group is too burned 
out to consider significant changes.

But "expecting" that the work is high quality, to justify weakening the 
reviews that such drafts are subjected to, seems counterproductive.   
And I agree that we should not depend on "heroes" either inside or 
outside the IESG, to provide documents with thorough reviews at a point 
that it's too late to fix most problems anyway.   So to me that means we 
need to do thorough, IETF-wide reviews earlier.

> WGs that regularly don't produce high quality work, perhaps, should not be supported in the IETF?

IMO most WGs should have a short (2-3 years) lifetime.   So by the time 
it's clear that they do or don't produce high-quality work, it's time 
for them to be winding down anyway.