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

t.p. <> Tue, 27 November 2012 19:35 UTC

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From: "t.p." <>
To: Barry Leiba <>, IETF discussion list <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists"
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2012 19:33:29 +0000
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Barry Leiba" <>
To: "IETF discussion list" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 6:00 PM

> On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM, Dale R. Worley <>
> >
> >> That attendance showed me that most of the IETF meeting was a
> >> waste of time, that it was e-mail that was the main vehicle for
> >> and I think that the IETF web site has it about right when it says
> >
> > This is all true.  Any decision come to during a meeting session
> > be reviewed and approved on the WG mailing list.  The reason for
> > is to ensure that one can participate completely *without* attending
> > the meetings and paying the associated expenses.
> 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?  Does the
> community believe that the real IETF work is done on the mailing
> lists, and not in the face-to-face meetings, to the extent that the
> community would want the IESG to refuse to publish documents whose
> process went as I've described above, on the basis that IETF process
> was not properly followed?

Assuming that you are referring to I-Ds from a WG, then the WG chair is
saying that the document has been reviewed enough for it to progress.
The WG chair is appointed, in some sense of the word, by the ADs, past
or present, for the Area in question.  Thus what you seem to be asking
is should you trust the people appointed by the ADs.

Um, mostly yes, but then if you do push back, then that is an implicit
criticism of the WG chair and/or ADs.

In the WG in which I am active, I mostly do see push back from the WG
Chair, that unless and until people speak up on the list, eg during Last
Call, then the I-D in question is going nowhere - which I find healthy.
If people continue not to speak up, well then perhaps it is time to
close the WG, which is probably about right.

Tom Petch

> I realize that this question is going to elicit some vehemence.
> Please be brief and polite, as you respond.  :-)
> Barry, Applications AD