Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom ELEGIBILITY

"Murray S. Kucherawy" <superuser@gmail.com> Thu, 12 February 2015 00:05 UTC

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Subject: Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom ELEGIBILITY
From: "Murray S. Kucherawy" <superuser@gmail.com>
To: Joel Halpern <jmh@joelhalpern.com>
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Cc: Michael Richardson <mcr+ietf@sandelman.ca>, ietf <ietf@ietf.org>
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On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 2:26 PM, Joel Halpern <jmh@joelhalpern.com>; wrote:

> I am starting to sympathize with Mike.  What is our goal here.
> Expanding the nomcom pool with folks who may be contributing but do not
> have visibility to how things are working does not seem to help us.
> [...]
>

There was plenty of support for, and no objection to, the idea of relaxing
how one remains eligible after becoming eligible.  It's the mechanics of
this that seem to be the problem.  It's exacerbated by the fact that it's
hard to evaluate programmatically one's contributions other than purely by
counting them.

I could be WG chair of a WG that exists for five years, but never meets and
rarely produces anything.  The datatracker shows me as a co-chair all that
time.

I could be a WG co-chair for ten years where my co-chair does all the work
and I am but a well-liked slacker.  The datatracker still shows me as a
co-chair all that time.

I could be editor of a major RFC along with others, one that takes years to
get to publication, and my only contribution was to write one major
paragraph that's unchanged since the -00 version years ago.  Still, my name
is front page on a standards track RFC.

I could scribe for the IAOC every time and do absolutely nothing else.
This gives me depth on one topic, but no breadth on any other, yet I can
still claim scribe credits.

I could have the same count of WG chairships, documents, scribings, etc.,
as someone else, but still have a frighteningly poor understanding of how
the IETF operates compared to that other person because I skate by in terms
of my contribution while the other person is fully involved.  However,
numerically, we are equivalent.

etc. etc.

As has been observed, any rule we define here can be gamed.  If we want to
solve for this, the problem then is that evaluating each case claiming
qualification now puts a burden on the Chair, or the Secretariat, or
someone else, to decide which claims "count" and which don't, and be able
to support that evaluation.  If I may invoke some grade school rhetoric:
"Not it!"

On the other hand, maybe we should remember that these are merely the
criteria to get into the pool of potential volunteers.  It doesn't land you
a NomCom slot; you still have to get randomly selected.  So maybe the
percentage of people that skate by as described above will generally be low
enough that we shouldn't let perfect be the enemy of the good.

And if it seriously doesn't work, we can always change it again.  I'll bet
it would be at most one NomCom cycle before a terrible selection process
gets replaced.

-MSK