General view of re-org proposal (was : Out-of-area ADs)

Andrew Sullivan <> Sun, 28 December 2014 21:13 UTC

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Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2014 16:13:35 -0500
From: Andrew Sullivan <>
Subject: General view of re-org proposal (was : Out-of-area ADs)
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(I'm responding to the IESG's proposal -- and to Nico's mail in
particular -- as an individual only, even though I mention some IAB
activities below.)  

On Sun, Dec 28, 2014 at 02:14:06PM -0600, Nico Williams wrote:
>  - and operations (the sorts of people who can tell you that you're
>    using DNS incorrectly).

On this particular bullet, I'll just observe that, if you ask 10 DNS
people, you will get a list of at least 11 reasons why you're Doing It
Wrong.  Nevertheless,

> All other specializations should be selected for (or against) on the
> basis of what is needed more of at the time.

I think this is the key point.

I like Nico's suggestion primarily because I think the proposal the
IESG has made has the disadvantages of both the existing, ADs-per-area
structure, and of the little-structure Nico is proposing.  That is,
the IESG-proposed structure still has tight coupling of ADs to areas,
though some areas would be better-supplied than others.  That means
that there's still a need for the Nomcom to match candidates to an
individual area, and there will be the occasional AD who "guards" his
or her area too zealously or pays too little attention to things
outside the area.  At the same time, both the areas that are large in
this new proposal, and the cross-area management assignment
suggestion, have all the issues of Nico's proposal: the nomcom has a
much harder time figuring out exactly what skills are needed, and the
IESG will have to spend the operational/managerial overhead of
aligning WG assignments with inidviduals instead of allowing the area
co-ADs to split up the work equitably.

Nico's suggestion does have the strength that, if one is going to tear
things up and try something new anyway, there seems little benefit in
going half-way.

Part of the issue here may in fact be that the areas, while clear in
the middle, are often indistinct at their edges.  This turns out to
match what has been happening to the Internet architecure too, as the
ITAT workshop and the IAB's IP Stack Evolution program both suggest.
It could be that over time we will find more natural boundaries for
areas, but I rather like the idea that the next nomcom gets from the
IESG a list of general characteristics and specific expertise that the
IESG needs, and gets a pool of people that don't fit in a single slot.
The Nomcom already needs to do this sort of thing for the IAB, so it
won't be a different work style.

(This does, of course, raise the question of whether we need two
bodies that are selected more or less the same way.  I know some
people have contemplated whether the IAB ought to be altered
dramatically or else eliminated.  I don't have an opinion about that
right now, but we might get another bit of evidence from following
Nico's suggestion.)

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan