Re: Diversity of candidates was Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections

Benjamin Kaduk <> Mon, 25 January 2021 23:15 UTC

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Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2021 15:15:13 -0800
From: Benjamin Kaduk <>
To: Keith Moore <>
Subject: Re: Diversity of candidates was Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections
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Hi Keith,

One point of clarification...

On Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 05:57:34PM -0500, Keith Moore wrote:
> On 1/25/21 4:35 PM, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
> > On Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 04:03:46PM -0500, Keith Moore wrote:
> >> That sentence sounds more than a little bit hostile itself.
> > I would appreciate knowing why you think so.
> The words "special" and "bespoke" are part of why - you're taking an 
> essentially arbitrary position in favor of certain tools and against 
> other tools, without any  apparent support for your position other than 
> bias, and you claim to be making that argument in favor of diversity.
> >> With respect to tooling, this should be a relatively easy test. Are 
> >> the "bespoke" tools easier to use than whatever tools we might be 
> >> using otherwise?
> >
> > "Easier" is surely a matter of where one stands.  The point that I was 
> > making (and the only point I was trying to make) is that, if you want 
> > a more-diverse set of people to join, making the barriers to 
> > engagement as high as the IETF does through tools that are really 
> > foreign to a lot of people will not help with that.  Like github or 
> > not (I do not), it is a tool that is familiar to a lot of people, and 
> > the more one adapts workflow to things that are familiar to a lot of 
> > people the more likely one is to attract such people.  That's the 
> > network effect in operation, which is of course something that 
> > everyone who works in the IETF is familiar with.
> Surely you've noticed that there's a lot of pushback against github from 
> people who aren't familiar with it and/or who don't think it's an 
> effective tool?   If you bias IETF toward github users you're biasing it 
> against people who prefer other tools or other ways of working.   IMO 
> that kind of bias doesn't serve a consensus-making organization that's 
> trying to be open to participation by anyone.
> I'm also having a little trouble wrapping my head around that argument 
> because of my own experience.   For the last 13 years I've worked for 
> dozens of different clients, and each one came with its own 
> constraints.  I've had clients that insisted that I use Word and Excel 
> and some other abysmal MS drawing tool that I don't recall at the 
> moment.   I've had other clients insisting that I use Jira and Bitbucket 
> which really make work much more difficult than it needs to be.   I've 
> had clients insisting that I use Eclipse IDE or some vendor-specific 
> variant of that even when it constantly broke down, lost code, and 
> required reinstallation.   I've had one client insisting that I use a 
> Windows box on my desk for a year until I finally got them to let me use 
> Linux, after which my productivity doubled.   One of my current nemeses 
> is Slack, which is so much worse than email that it's criminal.    Some 
> of these tools are better than others, but all of them are either 
> impediments to getting work done, or they come with baggage that creates 
> impediments to getting work done (like security holes big enough to 
> drive aircraft carriers through).

Do you intend these assessments of better/worse for getting work done to be
scoped solely to you and your usage of them, or as global assertions that
should apply to all potential users of those tools?

Which, perhaps, gets into your later point (that I trimmed, whoops) about
having standard interfaces as much as possible and letting people use their
own preferred tools to access them.