RE: IETF 107 and Corona Virus? - timezone

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Sun, 16 February 2020 18:25 UTC

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Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2020 13:25:29 -0500
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: "Roni Even (A)" <roni.even@huawei.com>
cc: ietf@ietf.org
Subject: RE: IETF 107 and Corona Virus? - timezone
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--On Sunday, 16 February, 2020 07:37 +0000 "Roni Even (A)"
<roni.even@huawei.com> wrote:

> One issue to consider about having  an entirely virtual
> meeting is what are the implication on participants in
> different time zone. Attending  few scattered session may not
> be a big issue but if one wants to attend many sessions it
> becomes a problem.
> 
> My personal experience when trying to attend a QUIC WG Interim
> meeting in Japan was very bad.
>...

Roni,

As Stewart points out, different people react in different ways.
However, at least in principle, attending a full-week meeting
remotely should be no worse from a time zone standpoint than
going in person if one just shifts onto the meeting time zone
for the week.  Same time zone shift as f2f, none of the physical
and aggravation costs of dealing with airports, airport transit,
long and often cramped plane flights, etc.  The only way in
which remote attendance of that type becomes more difficult from
a body rhythm standpoint is if one tries to stay on one's normal
schedule and activities at home and the remote schedule at the
same time.  I am just guessing from your explanation, but that
2AM QUIC meeting may have been a problem because you tried to
say on your normal sleep (and probably eating) schedule rather
that going to sleep at 5PM or earlier your time.  

That is, of course, another type of shift that some people find
easier than others.  And I've often suspected that, despite all
the complaints about jet lag, at least some people find that
being stuck in a large can with wings, with few external
stimuli, for many hours may actually help make the shift and
make it back after the meeting.  But...

Of course, part of the reason the IETF originally developed its
rules about decisions being made on mailing lists was that, back
then, a very significant fraction of the participants did not
have corporate (or equivalent) support for attending week-long
meetings in expensive and far-away places.  What I was told when
I started attending and participating at f2f meetings (after
several years on mailing lists only) was that the purpose of f2f
WG discussions included catching people up a bit but that they
are primarily to bring out, identify, and understand a broader
range of issues. 

Patterns have shifted -- in some cases for very good reasons
such as more participation from more parts of the world.   But
maybe, if organizational or government policies keep a
significant number of contributors from f2f attendance, we
should consider learning from our own history and consider an
entirely different remote participation option. That would be to
shut Meetecho down entirely except to live-stream various
meetings (really good scaling properties even if we don't need
to return to multicast) and get really serious about the mailing
list rule - not for ratification, but for accurately summarizing
and following up the f2f discussions,  making sure that all
perspectives are aired and discussed.  That would not work
unless WG Chairs and ADs understood the importance of that
approach and were willing to put effort into being sure that it
succeeded and that both those who got to the meeting and those
who, for whatever reason, did not, were treated fairly, but that
might still be easier than trying to manage both in-room and
long remote speaker queues in a careful and fair way.

Agree with him or not, Keith Moore's recent note about interim
meetings may reflect a different view of the same underlying
issues.

   john