Re: [79all] IETF Badge

Xiangsong Cui <> Sat, 13 November 2010 01:21 UTC

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Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2010 09:21:48 +0800
From: Xiangsong Cui <>
Subject: Re: [79all] IETF Badge
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To: Ole Jacobsen <>
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> Prior to the day pass experiment (and I would guess even during) 
> companies would pass around badges for folks that wanted to attend 
> - 
> especially local first timers, but didn't need to be there for 
> more 
> than a day or a meeting.  As far as I know we (IETF) have no 
> policy on 
> this."

Exact! I know some guys, they are surely the local first timers, they love internet and have huge interest in IETF. They (I guess) will not submit draft, will not give comments, they just want to understand IETF, want to know what is IETF, what is the function of IETF, how does IETF boost development of internet, and how IETF works.
Yes, they can find these information/answers in internet, at IETF website, or by reading some guideline RFCs/drafts, but I think they just want a live experience, that's all.

By the way, I don't know well, whether the Sunday aftertoon education is available for those who didn't register IETF meeting?

> Answer (my own opinion): We may not have a policy that states you 
> cannot pass around a badge to a number of people, but I think it 
> violates the spirit of "no free lunch" particularly now that the 
> meeting fees are a significant source of income to balanace the 
> meeting expenses. Ditto (obviously) for day passes. Buying one and 
> sending 5 people clearly defeats the purpose.

This is a difficult problem, imho, it's surely unfair to those who have paid meeting fees. But on the other hand, I think the internet is designed for "free lunch" in fact. I wonder, does the inventor of HTTP protocol feel unfair when billions of internet users use HTTP browsing? does the companies feel unfair when millions of internet users freely download their software (e.g. browser client)? does the open-sourse-software developers feel 
unfair when thounds of internet users run their products? They surely paid their great effort on all of these, and I guess they din't feel unfair, because they are continuing their work actively, or even more actively because they get positive feedback from the internet users. And here, I didn't feel unfair when I see some guys come to IETF meeting without paying fees while I paid hundreds of dollars. There are also many volunteers in IETF, 
I don't think they feel unfair when they contribute to IETF.

As to IETF registration and badge, I would like to suggest (maybe this is crazy), IETF should design another type participant, I mean Guest Participant, they are free and more limited than one day pass. For example, the Guest Participant can only attend one session (half day or 2 hours), for the given WG seesion. And, the amount of Guest Participant should be strictly limited.

This is a challenge to IETF, the first question is how can we select the Guest Participant? I think there may be a application portal at IETF website, or host website, so interester may go to there and the applicant should explain why he/she should be issued the guest badge there. The second question is who can make the decision? I think IESG/WG chair/host can do this, separately or together. In many session, there are many redundant seats 
in the room (most time the WG chairs know/forecast this well), I don't think it would harm IETF or WG session if some guest are seated there. There are of course many other problems, but I believe we can resolve them, and I believe this may advance IETF.

Thanks and best regards,