Re: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists"

Alessandro Vesely <> Thu, 29 November 2012 14:30 UTC

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Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 15:30:11 +0100
From: Alessandro Vesely <>
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Subject: Re: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists"
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On Wed 28/Nov/2012 16:18:05 +0100 Keith Moore wrote:
> On 11/27/2012 01:00 PM, Barry Leiba wrote:
>> This brings up a question that I have as an AD: A number of times
>> since I started in this position in March, documents have come to
>> the IESG that prompted me (or another AD) to look into the document
>> history for... to find that there's basically no history. We see a
>> string of versions posted, some with significant updates to the
>> text, but *no* corresponding mailing list discussion. Nothing at
>> all. The first we see of the document on the mailing list is a
>> working group last call message, which gets somewhere between zero
>> and two responses (which say "It's ready."), and then it's sent to
>> the responsible AD requesting publication. When I ask the
>> responsible AD or the document shepherd about that, the response is
>> that, well, no one commented on the list, but it was discussed in
>> the face-to-face meetings. A look in the minutes of a few meetings
>> shows that it was discussed, but, of course, the minutes show little
>> or none of the discussion. We accept that, and we review the
>> document as usual, accepting the document shepherd's writeup that
>> says that the document has "broad consensus of the working group."
>> So here's my question: Does the community want us to push back on
>> those situations?
> Please, please, please push back on those discussions.
> Far too many documents are being represented as WG consensus, and then
> IETF consensus, when there's nothing of the sort.   This degrades the
> overall quality of IETF output, confuses the community of people who
> use IETF standards, and potentially does harm to the Internet by
> promoting use of protocols that haven't been carefully vetted.
> Simply presenting a document at a face-to-face meeting and asking
> people to raise hands or hum in approval isn't sufficient.   A
> necessary condition for IESG consideration of a WG document should be
> that several people have posted to the WG mailing list that they've
> read it, and that they consider it desirable and sound.

+1, s/several/some/, especially if qualified.