Re: Interim meetings - changing the way we work

Benson Schliesser <> Wed, 25 February 2015 18:04 UTC

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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:04:10 -0500
From: Benson Schliesser <>
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To: "t.p." <>, Benoit Claise <>, ietf <>,
Subject: Re: Interim meetings - changing the way we work
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t.p. wrote:
> Again linked to this, but this is one for the IESG IMO, is that on some
> lists, the view is that without an attendee list the minutes are
> incomplete.  In Routing, I found the view that attendees should not be
> listed in the minutes. Um, policy decision needed.  Technology makes the
> collection of a Blue sheet equivalent very straightforward, at least for
> many virtual interims, but is it a breach of privacy (in Germany, at
> least) to put that on the web site?  On the other hand, we would regard
> as deficient a string of posts to the mailing list with no indication
> who was making them; which minutes without an identification of at least
> who 'spoke' would seem to be equivalent.  I can guess who Alia is but
> not Erik or Tom, which is all I have to go on (nvo32014/10/2  - netmod
> and netconf minutes are very good in this regard unless, of course, you
> regard the list of names as a breach of privacy!).  As I said, I think
> IESG guidance is needed on what should appear in the minutes by way of
> who took part or who contributed.

There seems to be two different (perhaps related) issues here.

First, completeness of names in the minutes:

Yes, we should strive to get full names in the minutes rather than short 
names. This is tactically difficult for so many reasons, many of which 
have already been talked about on this list in the past. This includes 
non-uniform familiarity of the note-taker with all the contributors' 
names, speed of the conversation versus ability to write quickly, etc. I 
don't know of any sure-fire way to fix this. A recording of the meeting 
can be useful, but isn't a substitute for minutes and isn't always 
helpful in filling out missing details in the minutes after the fact. If 
anybody has suggestions for improving note-taking then I'm eager to hear 

Otherwise, all I can say is that we'll try harder. Specifically, we can 
spend some effort reviewing the draft minutes and filling in names etc. 
For NVO3, I'll work with my co-chair and secretary to do this. I suppose 
other chairs should be encouraged to do the same.

Second, whether Blue Sheets are posted:

Currently the Blue Sheets for regular meetings are scanned and posted in 
the proceedings. For example see the "Blue Sheets" link at There is a mechanism in 
the Meeting Materials Manager tool for chairs and secretaries to upload 
Blue Sheets for interim meetings, too. Though I note that most of the 
interim proceedings seem to be missing them. One positive example I 
found was

It is clear to me that chairs (myself included) need to do a better job 
collecting Blue Sheets for interims and posting them to the proceedings. 
This is already mandated by along with 
minutes etc.

The subsequent question is "how" to collect names for Blue Sheets at 
virtual interim meetings. NVO3 has experimented with using an etherpad 
for this purpose. (Thanks to Sue Hares for suggesting this to me.) One 
could also imagine using a Google Docs form, Eventbrite, or whatever 
other tool was convenient. It might be nice if we could create an IETF 
tool for such a purpose, but we can certainly manage otherwise.

During today's Routing Chairs meeting there was a discussion about 
whether it is mandatory to fill out Blue Sheets, and the general 
consensus seemed to be "no, not really" given that even the regular 
in-person meetings have imperfect Blue Sheet records. So making it a 
gating step, e.g. in order to register to receive meeting logistics 
information etc, would be inappropriate. Likewise I suspect that it's 
more consistent to make it a voluntary step rather than simply 
collecting the names of people e.g. on a WebEx session. But I'll take 
this up with the IAOC to make sure that my current thinking is 
consistent with the legal needs of the IETF.