Re: Things that I think obvious....

Harald Tveit Alvestrand <> Thu, 16 September 2004 06:57 UTC

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Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 08:47:12 +0200
From: Harald Tveit Alvestrand <>
To: Margaret Wasserman <>,
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Subject: Re: Things that I think obvious....
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I think you captured what I wanted to say well. Thank you!

--On onsdag, september 15, 2004 09:19:08 -0400 Margaret Wasserman 
<> wrote:

> Hi Harald,
> As you say below, "clarity is good".  So, before I respond to this post,
> I would like to better understand what you are asking...
> RFC 3716 includes the following section:
> "4.3.  Who Can Decide
>     The AdvComm believes that the IETF leadership, acting with the advice
>     and consent of the IETF community and ISOC, have the ability and the
>     responsibility to act on the recommendation to formalize the IETF."
> So, given your definitions below and the contents of other messages, I
> think you are asking whether there is IETF community consensus on the
> following statement:
>     The [IESG and IAB], acting with the advice and consent of the [people
>     who do the technical work of the IETF] and ISOC, have the ability and
>     the responsibility to act on the recommendation to formalize the IETF
>     [administrative support activity].
> To make a decision regarding whether or not I agree with this statement,
> I would need to understand what is meant by "advice and consent".  In
> previous non-public conversations, these terms have been defined as
> follows:
>> - ADVICE - someone posits a problem, the group discusses, and comes up
>> with viewpoints that may or may not be helpful. The viewpoints go back
>> to the person(s) being advised, but the group is NOT expected to reach a
>> decision. Conflicting opinions are expected, and are Not A Problem.
>> - CONSENT - someone makes a proposal, and asks for the consent of the
>> group. The group uses the consensus process to develop a position, but
>> the outcome is much more bounded than in consensus problem solving -
>> generally, it's limited to "I can live with this" and "Go back and try
>> again, this won't work".
> Advice from the community can be obtained through discussion on this (and
> other?) IETF mailing lists and through plenary discussions.
> The usual method for determining the consent of the community is through
> IETF Last Call and IESG review/approval.
> In other words, I think you are proposing that the options for
> administrative restructuring should be discussed openly (as they are
> being discussed now) so that the community has an opportunity to provide
> advice, that the IAB & IESG should jointly develop a specific proposal
> for further community review/advice, and that the final proposal should
> be subject to community consent through the usual IETF Last Call and IESG
> review/approval mechanism.
> Am I understanding your question correctly?  If so, then yes, I do agree
> with it.
> ...but I don't consider it to be at all obvious.
> Margaret
> At 12:21 PM +0200 9/9/04, Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
>> I thought it would make sense for me to mention a few things I have
>> regarded as "obvious" in this discussion - just to make sure nobody
>> comes along later and says "you can't draw a conclusion based on
>> that - while I agree with you, there might be others who don't" or
>> something like that.
>> Clarity is good.
>> It is very hard to state these things in a way where nobody can
>> quibble with the formulations, but I will try anyway.
>> 1 - The IETF exists, and it is the IETF community.
>> Even though we have carefully avoided defining its boundaries, I
>> believe that we all believe that the IETF exists. And it's obvious
>> that if the people who do the technical work leave, the IETF is
>> nothing.
>> So the IETF is the community.
>> 2 - The IETF leadership is the IESG and IAB.
>> Some jobs are clearly given to the IESG in our documents; other jobs
>> are clearly given to the IAB. Some jobs are not mentioned at all.
>> As part of the process of change, the community may select other
>> people or create new bodies for other types of leadership.
>> And the IAB and IESG has to be in a continuing dialogue with the
>> community in order to figure out what the right things to do are.
>> But there is at present no other leadership function selected by the
>> community.
>> 3 - The community has accepted the problem description and
>> principles laid out in RFC 3716.
>> The most common reaction I have had from people who have read RFC
>> 3716 is "it's obvious, now that you say it". And it would be hard
>> for anyone who reads the IETF list or the IETF-announce list, or the
>> most recent plenaries, to be completely unaware of its existence, or
>> that we are basing further work on its conclusions.
>> So - if there was significant disagreement with its conclusions -
>> I'd have expected to hear that before now.
>> As I said - I *think* these things are fairly obvious. But it might
>> still be reasonable to check that other people agree.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Ietf mailing list

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