Re: Virtual IETFs (was: Re: Concerns about Singapore)

Alia Atlas <> Tue, 12 April 2016 13:33 UTC

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Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:33:12 -0400
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Subject: Re: Virtual IETFs (was: Re: Concerns about Singapore)
From: Alia Atlas <>
To: Ted Lemon <>
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Cc: Tim Chown <>, ietf <>
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On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 9:22 AM, Ted Lemon <> wrote:

> The problem with a larger virtual interim is that it doesn't replace an
> IETF, and so you're adding workload but not subtracting any workload.   I
> don't see the point in that.

It clocks those working groups at a higher rate.  Many people find it
easier to prioritize IETF work when there are specific deadlines or a loss
of face if work isn't done.

While the IETF determines consensus on mailing lists, there has been a
strong tendency in the last decade to focus on the physical meetings for
the next deadline, to have necessary talks, and so on.   I personally feel
that it is important to push back on this.

Discussing an issue on the mailing list suffers from people losing state on
the issue being talked about - for instance:
     Day 1: Alice reviews a draft and posts her review with a technical
point to consider.  Bob, an author, sees the email but is
                in the midst of a day-job priority.
     Day 4: Bob reads the email, rereads the draft section, and suggests a
fix.  Alice sees email, but is focused on day-job.
     Day 8: Alice refreshes her memory and responds with a point that
wasn't handled.

A benefit of virtual interims is that folks try to be up to speed and that
conversational back and forth can happen.
We do the same thing - aspirationally - on WGLCs on the mailing lists where
a two-week period is set aside to focus on a
particular draft.


> On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 8:30 AM, Tim Chown <> wrote:
>> On 12 Apr 2016, at 12:49, Ted Lemon <> wrote:
>> Agree about Buenos Aires.   We already do excellent virtual interims--I
>> think if your standard for whether we can do a virtual IETF is that virtual
>> interims work, we are already there.
>> I think that if we want to test this idea, what we need to do is
>> designate some future IETF virtual _now_, and then start preparing, rather
>> than say "oh, we should do a virtual" and then dither about when we might
>> be ready.   We will never be so ready that a virtual IETF feels identical
>> to an in-person IETF, so let's just abandon that idea and get started on
>> making a virtual IETF that, while different, is still a success.
>> Sounds interesting, if something of a big leap to attempt. Is a larger
>> wholly virtual, multiple WG interim meeting a next step then?
>> Btw where do we get the virtual T-shirt? ;)
>> Tim
>> On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 7:43 AM, Tim Chown <> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> To minimise the chances of a ‘Singapore’ happening again it would seem
>>> prudent to
>>> a) re-use previous successful meeting venues for the bulk of our
>>> meetings (say, every 5 in 6 meetings); this is one criteria for meeting
>>> selection as it stands anyway; that list might include venues like Prague,
>>> Berlin, Vancouver, etc.; we’d need to be clear in what ‘successful’ means -
>>> the meeting feedback forms provide one such mechanism;
>>> b) be transparent at an early stage about where new venues might be,
>>> whether by country or city, so there is a fair chance for people to give
>>> feedback; of course, how such feedback is weighed is an open question, but
>>> at least it would be there, and the IAOC can then make a decision ‘eyes
>>> wide open’.
>>> In such a system, Buenos Aires would have been a ‘1 in 6’ venue. In that
>>> light, I’d note that many people have said how much they enjoyed Buenos
>>> Aires as a meeting place. And while the IAOC probably feel rather down over
>>> the comments about Singapore, they should be praised for going out on
>>> something of a limb in making the Buenos Aires selection. (And I’d add that
>>> the enthusiasm and helpfulness of the LACNIC hosts was also fantastic.)
>>> In terms of virtual meetings, I’d suggest we try to hold more interim WG
>>> meetings, some completely virtually, and learn how to make those better. If
>>> we can regularly hold good quality wholly virtual interim meetings, then we
>>> can consider whether the same technology might be used for a larger meeting.
>>> Tim
>>> > On 12 Apr 2016, at 00:54, Ted Lemon <> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > While I do not think it's true that we can entirely get away without
>>> doing in-person meetings, I do agree with you that we can do better at
>>> doing remote meetings.   Perhaps we should let this unfortunate event drive
>>> us to make the attempt.
>>> >
>>> > If we were to attempt such a thing, how do you think it would work?