Re: Functional differentiation and administrative restructuring

John C Klensin <> Wed, 08 September 2004 13:51 UTC

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Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 09:41:55 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
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Subject: Re: Functional differentiation and administrative restructuring
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--On Wednesday, 08 September, 2004 08:53 -0400

> Hi John,
> Thanks for you analysis.  It was something I felt lacking and
> has helping me in my wavering between the absorption into ISOC
> model and the independent corporate model.
> I look forward to your analysis of the absorption model.

Avri, I want to apologize in advance for using your note as the
excuse for the rant below.   You are certainly not the first
person to do this and probably won't be the last; your note just
arrived at a convenient time.

I think we need to be very careful about slapping labels of
convenience on options and then getting distracted by what those
labels "mean".  Doing so can really distract from a productive
discussion in which information is exchanged.    There has been
a lot of that sort of distraction, and the associated confusion,
going on, since even before San Diego.

"Absorption" is a loaded term.  If we are asked "how would you
like to be absorbed into foo", the answer has got to be "no".
For me, at least, the recurring image is some rather unpleasant
(for the food) digestion process.  But, to my knowledge, no one
has seriously proposed anything of the sort.   Certainly the
standards process has not been "absorbed".   I doubt that the
RFC Editor staff would consider themselves "absorbed".  There
are unincorporated organizations in addition than the IETF which
have worked closely with ISOC for years and haven't been
"absorbed" either.

And "independent corporate model", while less loaded
semantically (at least for me), is almost equally bad: to the
best of my knowledge, no one has really seriously proposed that
either, since "independent" would imply "own fundraising" and
presumably untangling the standards model which is now seriously
intertwined with ISOC.   As long as critical pieces of those
things remain in ISOC's hands, we aren't "independent" in any of
the normal senses of that term.


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