Re: NomCom eligibility & IETF 107

Richard Barnes <> Tue, 31 March 2020 18:25 UTC

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From: Richard Barnes <>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:25:29 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: NomCom eligibility & IETF 107
To: Alissa Cooper <>
Cc: Pete Resnick <>, Barry Leiba <>, IETF discussion list <>
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Strongly agree with Alissa's points here.  We can distinguish between a
tactical decision and a general one, and between consensus and openness.

We have an immediate, tactical decision to make, with time constraints such
that the full IETF consensus process is not viable.  The IESG is right to
do a limited feedback process and make a decision here.

The fact that we're not doing the full process does go against the openness
of the process.  AFAICT, the IESG is in fact being quite open about their
thinking, and soliciting open feedback.  The only difference is that rather
than taking the time for the discussion to settle down to consensus, the
IESG will make a decision based on the information they can get in the time

And if they screw it up, we can fix it when we have time.  As Alissa points
out, we have done this before.  Let's stay agile here.


On Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 1:57 PM Alissa Cooper <> wrote:

> Hi Pete,
> My individual opinion is below.
> > On Mar 31, 2020, at 1:12 AM, Pete Resnick <> wrote:
> >
> > On 30 Mar 2020, at 23:25, Barry Leiba wrote:
> >
> >> 2. We are concerned that rushing such a process by, for example,
> posting a draft now and immediately last-calling it without a normal period
> of discussion would call into question the legitimacy of our consensus
> process and would set a bad precedent.
> >
> > Barry, I think the IESG has made an error, specifically on this point.
> Last-calling a document for 4 weeks is precisely designed for the situation
> where most (if not all) of the community has not had a chance to comment on
> it. And in the only specifically documented variance procedure in the IETF
> (2026 section 9), this kind of thing is exactly what it anticipates: The
> IESG writes up what it thinks it's heard about what the variance should be,
> it immediately puts it out for Last Call, it takes those 4 weeks to assess
> the consensus of the IETF and adjusts the document to suit, and then it
> publishes. Following that same model has a much better chance of standing
> up to questions of legitimacy than the IESG proposal: collecting opinions
> with no text to look at, and then in 4 weeks writing some text that the
> IESG thinks represents the consensus and calling it approved. That is
> inviting a great deal of contention.
> >
> > You (or I or any number of other people in this discussion) can write up
> and post a draft in less than 24 hours. The IESG can immediately Last Call
> it. Folks can then discuss the document and the IESG to make adjustments to
> it over the next 4 weeks. It can be acted upon once approved. To do
> otherwise goes against the openness of our processes.
> >
> > Please, IESG, reconsider your decision on this, and quickly. You can do
> the right thing in a reasonable amount of time without trying to do
> something that is inviting a protracted process fight.
> I think what you suggest is a recipe for either delegitimizing the IETF or
> causing it to enter a state of dysfunction. It assumes there will be
> consensus at the end of four weeks. But if the community can never reach
> consensus, then either the nomcom chair will have to figure this out on his
> or her own, or the nomcom can never be seated, or the IESG will have to
> illegitimately declare consensus, as Barry implied. The first option might
> work, but presumably is more objectionable to people such as yourself than
> what Barry outlined. The second option means people will start rotating off
> the leadership in 2021 until consensus can be reached and a nomcom can
> eventually be seated, potentially yielding a period of time where up to
> half of the IESG and IAB seats are vacant. The third option undermines the
> value of the consensus process itself.
> We made much larger changes to the nomcom process a couple of years ago
> long before any consensus documents were published. The changes made to the
> nominations process for the IETF Trust and the LLC Board were reflected in
> the work of both the 2018 nomcom and the 2019 nomcom, but the documentation
> of them didn’t finish IETF last call until June 24, 2019. There is no
> reason why the current circumstances should be held to a different standard.
> Being so rule-bound that we jeopardize the mere ability to renew the
> leadership in the future seems clearly to be the wrong choice.
> Alissa
> >
> > pr
> > --
> > Pete Resnick
> > All connections to the world are tenuous at best
> >