Re: Interim meetings - changing the way we work

t.p. <> Wed, 25 February 2015 12:55 UTC

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From: t.p. <>
To: Benoit Claise <>, ietf <>, <>
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Subject: Re: Interim meetings - changing the way we work
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Benoit Claise" <>
To: "t.p." <>om>; "ietf" <>rg>;
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 10:40 AM

> Hi Tom,
> In the WGs for which interim meetings are hold, there is really an
> increased speed of development. I can see this in NETMOD for example.
> I've been encouraging more interim meetings, when we have the right
> audience in the call.
> While we transition to more interim meetings, we have to admit that
> different WGs uses different tools (webex, github, svn, etherpad,
> I don't believe that imposing the interim meeting tools is right. We
> should let each community chose.
> Coming back to NETMOD (which is missing some entries at
>, it works with
> SVN. Everything is documented at
>, as communicated on
> the mailing list. However, you are right, we should follow the
> and go the extra mile to complete the information at
> Final thought. I believe that some of our tooling will need to adapt
> anyway for interim meeting management. For example, I missed some
> interim meetings in my WGs based on the simple rule: if it's not in my
> calendar, it doesn't exist. The
> format is not very helpful
> that. We need a way to easily schedule, evaluate conflicts, and
> the .ics ... in a type of calendar view.


Thanks for that.

In a sense, netmod is the worst offender in my analysis in that most of
the interim meetings that were announced and for which nothing has
appeared were netmod.  I think it safe to assume that they did not
happen but it would be better if that web page recorded this, perhaps by
a proceedings or minutes link that says simply that the meeting did not

Coupled with this, since several of the missing minutes (for me the
worst omission) were in the Routing Area, I flagged this to the Routing
Area list, and the minutes have since appeared.  The WG Chairs commented
that it would be good if tools generated an e-mail reminder a week later
if nothing had been filed.  This could then be either minutes or a
notfication that the meeting did not happen.  With virtual interims
happening a week apart, even a week's delay in the appearance of the
minutes is a serious handicap and I suspect that once the next meeting
has happened, then WG Chairs may lose interest in earlier ones.
Something to take up on the Tools list.

Again linked to this, but this is one for the IESG IMO, is that on some
lists, the view is that without an attendee list the minutes are
incomplete.  In Routing, I found the view that attendees should not be
listed in the minutes. Um, policy decision needed.  Technology makes the
collection of a Blue sheet equivalent very straightforward, at least for
many virtual interims, but is it a breach of privacy (in Germany, at
least) to put that on the web site?  On the other hand, we would regard
as deficient a string of posts to the mailing list with no indication
who was making them; which minutes without an identification of at least
who 'spoke' would seem to be equivalent.  I can guess who Alia is but
not Erik or Tom, which is all I have to go on (nvo3 2014/10/2 - netmod
and netconf minutes are very good in this regard unless, of course, you
regard the list of names as a breach of privacy!).  As I said, I think
IESG guidance is needed on what should appear in the minutes by way of
who took part or who contributed.

Tom Petch

> Regards, Benoit
> > There has been a marked increase in the number of  interim meetings.
> > Using
> >
> > as a guide, there were
> > 18 in 2011
> > 35 in 2012
> > 45 in 2013
> > 84 in 2014
> > 13 in January 2015 alone.
> >
> > With them comes a change in the way of working, perhaps rendering
> > of our practices historic.
> >
> > Of the 84 meetings listed for 2014, 21 left no other trace on the
> > web site, no Agenda, no Minutes, no Proceedings.  Perhaps the WG
> > provided no materials, perhaps they did not happen; sometimes a
> > cancellation notice is apparent in the WG List Archives, other times
> > not.
> >
> > Of the 63 that have left a trace, 6 produced no Minutes but did
> > slides or recordings and so presumably happened.
> >
> > Of the 57 that produced Minutes, 18 produced no Agenda while in 13
> > cases, the Minutes contained no list of Attendees (goodbye Blue
> > Sheets?).
> >
> > Only 26 meetings left a complete record, of Agenda, Minutes and
> > Attendees.
> >
> > The meetings encompassed 30 Working Groups, of which 16 met once, 14
> > more than once, with one WG meeting 8 times.
> >
> > What is more subjective is that, with Virtual Interims, increasingly
> > only kind, there is a tendency for the WG Mailing List to no longer
> > provide a record of discussions, choices, consensus.  For example,
> > may make greater use of github so that the minutes record a
> > of options 1, 2 and 3 for Issue 29 with no indication of what the
> > or options are; a while later, they may record an update to option 3
> > it would now seem impossible to know what was discussed at the
> > meeting.
> >
> > Even with the better minutes, they never give the same sense as
posts to
> > a mailing list of who was or was not in favour and how strong their
> > was.
> >
> > Of course, we still have WG Last Calls on the list but if at a
> > date, an AD or GenArt reviewer wants to look back and see what
> > were discussed and  how rough the consensus was, well, it may be
> > impossible.
> >
> > A post in another thread recently said
> >
> >> I do think that the increased significance of meetings
> >> in IETF participation (and here, I'm not talking about
> >> things like nomcom but about significance to our technical
> >> work) is a problem, both because it tends to marginalize
> >> people who can't come to meetings and because it slows
> >> work down.
> > Well, I disagree about slowing the work down but certainly agree
> > the marginalisation, that WGs holding multiple Interims may tend to
> > develop an in-crowd of those that can participate with the world at
> > large only seeing the end result without knowing how it was arrived
> > by whom.
> >
> > Tom Petch
> >
> > .
> >