Technical work and the definition of the IETF (Re: Things that I think obvious....)

Harald Tveit Alvestrand <harald@alvestrand.no> Wed, 15 September 2004 07:57 UTC

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Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 09:40:27 +0200
From: Harald Tveit Alvestrand <harald@alvestrand.no>
To: John C Klensin <john@jck.com>
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Subject: Technical work and the definition of the IETF (Re: Things that I think obvious....)
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--On tirsdag, september 14, 2004 22:39:25 -0400 John C Klensin 
<john@jck.com> wrote:

> In more practical terms, while I agree that the people who do
> the technical work are a necessary condition for the IETF being
> meaningful, we certainly have people around who participate in
> the IETF, are eligible to serve on Nomcoms, may even post to
> mailing lists, etc., but who do no observable technical work at
> all.  If your intent is to say
>      { the people who do the technical work } ==
>      { the IETF } ==
>      { the IETF community }
> then all of those no-technical-work active participants are
> excluded from the IETF community.

John,

two points:

1) you and I may have different definitions of "technical work".

I consider work like:

- Saying what the requirements on standards from the users are
- Reading documents and commenting on their readability
- Figuring out how IETF technical work relates to other aspects of the 
Ineternet

all to be examples of "technical work".

The work of making the IETF itself work is somewhat borderline.... but 
since it's contributing (I hope) positively to getting the technical work 
done, I'll even consider myself part of "the people who do the technical 
work".


2) I did not say

>      { the people who do the technical work } ==
>      { the IETF } ==
>      { the IETF community }

I said

   (the people who do the techical work) is part of (the IETF community)
   (the IETF) == (the IETF community)
   (the IETF community) - (the people who do the technical work)
           == (something that is not a viable IETF)

I believe a lot of people make valuable ocntributions to the IETF, for 
instance by explaining to their home organizations why the IETF work is 
valuable, that is not contributing directly to the technical standards, but 
their work is still valuable to the IETF. Attempting to exclude them from 
"the IETF community" would not make sense at all.
But without technical work to explain to their home organizations, they 
would not have anything to write home about.

If there are people who come to the IETF and do not speak at all, neither 
in the IETF or at home, about IETF business, I'm happy to consider not 
including them in my definition of the "IETF community".
But I think this group either does not exist or is so small as to be not 
worth singling out for special treatment.

Conclusion (mine) ..... my short sentences were short, and suffer the 
ambiguity of all short sentences, but I can't figure out that we actually 
have a disagreement on this point.

                        Harald



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