Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom ELEGIBILITY

Dave Cridland <> Fri, 13 February 2015 07:44 UTC

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Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 07:44:40 +0000
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Subject: Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom ELEGIBILITY
From: Dave Cridland <>
To: Russ Housley <>
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On 13 February 2015 at 04:40, Russ Housley <> wrote:

> We disagree.  Many people tell us (on the IAOC surveys) that the most
> important thing that happens at IETF meetings is the hallway
> conversations.  It is a significant part of the culture.

This makes me really quite angry.

Maybe my last note wasn't clear; I wrote it as gently mocking sarcasm, but
clearly this is too subtle, since you've written something so diametrically
opposed to what I was hinting at that it may as well be a strawman. Maybe
it is, and maybe you're simply trolling for a more obvious reaction from
me, and similar folk. In which case, bravo, you have it. But if this is a
genuine viewpoint, then it epitomises everything that's wrong with the
IETF, and represents an appalling and untenable position for any IAB
member, let alone the IAB Chair to take.

Sure, I appreciate that human contact is important. I've been to two IETF
meetings in the flesh, and I enjoy, and have had significant benefit from,
hallway conversations.

But to claim it's "the most important thing", and to further imply that no
other IETF participation or activity should count for anything is just

What you're saying is that my contributions don't count for shit.

I'm not going to claim that my track record is in the same league as yours,
but I don't think it's entirely insignificant, and moreover, I'm absolutely
certain that this is not the message you should be conveying to new people
(or people who've have documented contributions over two decades either,
but fuck them if they don't turn up to hallway conversations, eh?)

Really, if that's the case, we should abandon having working group meetings
at the IETF meetings, and not bother with RFCs, or any of the other
tiresome things which get in the way of hallway conversations.

But I should point out that the stated position of the IETF is that the
work of the IETF happens on mailing lists, not in hallway conversations.

Now if we want a NomCom which only works as an old boy's club, and just
puts people into positions where the committee members get along fine with
them, and share a few rounds, then this is a perfect setup. Well done, if
that's your aim. And why the hell not, given it's a status quo which serves
you just fine? Actually, let's back this up with a self-selecting survey of
people who attend meetings, because that's definitely not biased at all.

If you want a NomCom (and I'm ignoring the frankly far more important
details of recall etc) that represents the working core of the IETF,
though, you might want to capture a little more diversity in the volunteer
pool. My position is, and remains, that there are more ways to
significantly contribute to the IETF than idle chats in hallways.

But just as I find it frankly insulting that I still qualify to have a
mentor as a "newbie", because obviously I'm so totally clueless, it's also
astonishingly clear to me now that the stated position of the IAB Chair is
that nothing I have done within the IETF matters.

Thanks, and be glad that RFC 3777 gives me no voice in your recall. Good
move, best keep it that way.