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

Keith Moore <> Mon, 25 January 2021 23:24 UTC

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Subject: Re: Diversity of candidates was Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections
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From: Keith Moore <>
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Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2021 18:24:32 -0500
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On 1/25/21 6:15 PM, Benjamin Kaduk wrote:

>> 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?

More the former than the latter.   If I put myself in a position of 
making decisions for a company with large numbers of employees as to 
which tools to use, I find that it's a real dilemma.   I can come up 
with good reasons to use almost any of these tools in specific cases, 
and at least defensible reasons for using some of these tools 
company-wide.   (Though I often find that the people making these 
choices aren't aware of how much trouble they're creating for some of 
their employees who have to use the tools.) What I think it says is that 
the current set of tools available to industry basically suck, and part 
of the reason that they suck is that many of them try to force the users 
into particular ecosystems that paint their customers into corners and 
force them to use poor tools along with the good ones.

IETF is in a slightly different position in that our worker bees choose 
us rather than the other way around, and IETF by its very nature needs 
to be open to broad participation.   And what I think that implies is 
trying to let _everyone_ use their preferred tools as much as is 
feasible, even if we need some "bespoke" tools to facilitate that happening.

> 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.