Re: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists"

John C Klensin <> Tue, 27 November 2012 20:44 UTC

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Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2012 15:43:56 -0500
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Barry Leiba <>, IETF discussion list <>
Subject: Re: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists"
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--On Tuesday, November 27, 2012 13:00 -0500 Barry Leiba
<> wrote:

> So here's my question:
> Does the community want us to push back on those situations?
> Does the community believe that the real IETF work is done on
> the mailing lists, and not in the face-to-face meetings, to
> the extent that the community would want the IESG to refuse to
> publish documents whose process went as I've described above,
> on the basis that IETF process was not properly followed?
> I realize that this question is going to elicit some vehemence.
> Please be brief and polite, as you respond.  :-)


I find myself agreeing with Geoff and Andrew in thinking that
answer should usually be "yes, push back".  However, I think
that unusual situations do occur and that different WGs,
sometimes for good reason, have different styles.  As usual, I
favor good sense over the rigidity of process purity.  So a
suggestion: If a WG expects you the IESG to sign off on a
document based primarily on meeting list discussions, two
conditions should be met: (i) the minutes had better be
sufficiently detailed to be persuasive that there really was
review and that the document really is a WG product, not just
that of a few authors (or organizations) and (ii) there has to
be a clear opportunity, after the minutes appear (and Jabber
logs, etc., are available) for people on the mailing list to
comment on the presumed meeting decision.  I don't believe that
more specific guidelines for either of those conditions are
necessary or desirable other than to say that it is the
obligation of the WG and its chairs/shepherds to present
evidence that it persuasive to an IESG that out to be skeptical.

Speaking for myself only, of course.