Re: Interim meetings - changing the way we work

Yoav Nir <ynir.ietf@gmail.com> Wed, 25 February 2015 11:11 UTC

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Subject: Re: Interim meetings - changing the way we work
From: Yoav Nir <ynir.ietf@gmail.com>
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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:11:04 +0200
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I think this conversation is lumping together physical interim meetings (such as httpbis held while working on HTTP/2, and such as the TLS working group has been holding for the past half year) and virtual interim meetings (anything from conf calls to conf calls with shared presentations)

Both are productive, the physical meetings perhaps more so, but I am not happy with the proliferation of those meetings. Attending an IETF week is difficult enough. Flying all over the world to the various physical meetings excludes all but the most dedicated participants. And those who choose not to fly are very much excluded. All the meetings that I considered attending remotely either had no audio transmission, or totally lacked microphone discipline, and the jabber channel was ignored. For all intents and purposes they were a private meeting of the “in crowd”.  Remote participation in IETF week may have its faults, but remote participation in physical interims is unworkable.

Pair that with the large amount of progress that can be made in a full-day or a two-day meeting, and by the time the meeting is over, the conversation has progressed to such an extent that those who were not there are left behind, and the conversation continues on the mailing list even while the things that had been hashed out in the interim meeting are being “taken to the list”.

I think it is fine to encourage virtual interim meetings, but unless we can find a way to provide consistent remote participation for physical interims, we should not encourage them.

Yoav