Re: Stray thoughts on ' Update of IESG statement "Last Call Guidance to the Community"'

Keith Moore <moore@network-heretics.com> Thu, 22 April 2021 23:20 UTC

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Subject: Re: Stray thoughts on ' Update of IESG statement "Last Call Guidance to the Community"'
To: Adam Roach <adam@nostrum.com>, ietf@ietf.org
References: <161859546000.27694.13585496003852397044@ietfa.amsl.com> <6081A148.7070701@btconnect.com> <8279565a-ee50-ab3a-8b97-afc6ca23f4ba@gmail.com> <bf5f53fb-0aad-941d-a683-e7c40165cbac@nostrum.com> <7b9e4b99-7bec-39c3-be92-44482829e41b@network-heretics.com> <8b56493f-7ae7-8eaf-2237-e6e6aab315dc@nostrum.com>
From: Keith Moore <moore@network-heretics.com>
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Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2021 19:20:39 -0400
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On 4/22/21 6:42 PM, Adam Roach wrote:

>>> More pointedly -- it lets folks see discussions of IETF work product 
>>> without them getting lost among (checks notes) 150 messages about a 
>>> New York Times article, 132 posts about QUIC and DNSSEC, and 234 
>>> messages about inclusiveness.
>>>
>>> I'm not necessarily saying these topics aren't worth discussing; but 
>>> it's important to get broad consensus on the documents we publish as 
>>> RFCs, and we can't afford to lose those conversations under the 
>>> crush of high-volume topics. The risk of documents in last call 
>>> getting lost in the noise is far more of a barrier to being 
>>> "available to the community" than the use of a dedicated mailing list.
>>
>> One can credibly make the opposite argument also: that it's hard to 
>> find the time/patience to scan all of the Last Call discussions that 
>> happen, just so you can be "in the loop" for the relatively rare Last 
>> Call discussions that seem important to you. 
>
>
> That's the same argument on a smaller scale: I asserted that we needed 
> (and then benefited from) a smaller haystack for the needles of 
> interest, and you're saying that the new, much smaller haystack may 
> still be too large for effective needle finding.

Actually, no, though perhaps I didn't make myself sufficiently clear.   
Let me try to describe it differently:

Everybody has their own idea of which messages are relevant and which 
are not relevant.

If the list you're reading has a high percentage of relevant (to you) 
messages, you may find it worth your time/energy/patience to deal with 
the relatively rare irrelevant message, enough that you will peruse the 
entire list.  By doing so, you also have the opportunity to discover 
discussions which are valuable to you (and some of less value to  you) 
that you would not have specifically looked for.

But if everybody reads only from very narrowly focused lists, those 
opportunities will be lost, and nearly everyone will be working from 
within a narrow silo.

So I specifically don't advocate "even finer grained breakdown".   But 
I'm trying to brainstorm ways in which people can still at least be 
aware of more diverse conversations, without getting drowned in the flood.

Or from another angle: I doubt that the last-call@ list is actually a 
high signal-to-noise ratio for many, because I suspect that few people 
outside of IESG really want to read about every Last Call.   (Feel free 
to tell me if I'm assumed incorrectly.) So I'm wondering if lists that 
are organized along different dimensions would work better, say one list 
per area with all of the announcements (BOF, WG discussion, LC 
discussions, etc.) pertaining to that area included on the list.   But 
why should we limit ourselves to statically configured lists, if we can 
instead each specify what areas/topics/WGs we're interested in?

Keith