Re: Qualitative Analysis of IETF and IESG trends (Re: Measuring IETF and IESG trends)

Lakshminath Dondeti <ldondeti@qualcomm.com> Thu, 26 June 2008 09:29 UTC

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Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 02:28:51 -0700
From: Lakshminath Dondeti <ldondeti@qualcomm.com>
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To: Melinda Shore <mshore@cisco.com>
Subject: Re: Qualitative Analysis of IETF and IESG trends (Re: Measuring IETF and IESG trends)
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On 6/25/2008 9:19 AM, Melinda Shore wrote:
> On 6/25/08 11:44 AM, "Lakshminath Dondeti" <ldondeti@qualcomm.com>; wrote:
>> I would like to hear others' opinions (I was going to put together a
>> draft with some ideas on how we might define these roles, but I want to
>> hear others' thoughts before I do that) on this topic.
> 
> I think your points are valid, but I'm not sure what the
> effect would be if you controlled for quality coming out
> of the working groups.  That is to say, I think that
> occasionally working groups are coming to consensus on
> bad documents or bad ideas, and that the incidence of that
> is increasing.  

Well that is a disturbing trend as well.  A long while ago now, one of 
the then ADs mentioned that he needed to put a DISCUSS on a few 
successive MSEC documents that I was shepherding and mentioned that he 
wants to have a chat with the chairs on the quality of documents that we 
are forwarding.  I asked him to come to one of our meetings and explain 
the expectations directly to the WG.  That never happened.

But that is the kind of direction or steering an area director might do 
if working groups are indeed producing bad documents and advancing bad 
ideas.  Presumably they are several cases here, viz., going against 
charter or just being plain terrible at writing interoperable 
specifications.

Pushing a document back to the WG is actually a better thing, I am 
beginning to think.  Sure that may introduce delays initially as we 
learn how to operate in that mode, but the process of writing 
specifications is more transparent and more consensus based than in the 
current model of operation.

One of the problems with the current model is that comments toward the 
end of the process, either AD's or reviewers', are weighted more than 
comments during the working group discussions, at least in some cases.

> If that's true it once again raises the
> very familiar question of picking up quality problems
> earlier in the process.  Actually, that latter question
> applies regardless.

Yes, I have heard it mentioned several times before, but I haven't seen 
any concrete steps to achieve that.  I am now making the case that if a 
document makes it beyond the shepherding AD and put on the IESG 
telechat, changes to the text should be relatively a big deal.  There 
can be changes, but they should be reviewed by the WG.

In some cases, there have been bitter disputes about taking change 
control from authors and putting it in the hands of a WG, but the 
current model toward the end of the process seems to put change control 
in too few hands.  That is what I am trying to highlight.

regards,
Lakshminath

> 
> Melinda
> 
> 
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