Re: Appeal against IESG blocking DISCUSS on draft-klensin-rfc2821bis

Brian E Carpenter <> Mon, 16 June 2008 01:22 UTC

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Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2008 13:23:28 +1200
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
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Subject: Re: Appeal against IESG blocking DISCUSS on draft-klensin-rfc2821bis
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Cc: John C Klensin <>,,
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On 2008-06-16 11:44, Dave Crocker wrote:
> Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>> I think one can make a case that in some documents, use of non-RFC2606
>> names as examples is a purely stylistic matter, and that in others,
>> it would potentially cause technical confusion. I'm not asserting which
>> applies to 2821bis, but I do assert that there is scope here for
>> a judgement call and therefore the inconsistency is understandable.
> Actually, Brian, scope is exactly what this judgment call is out of.
> The underlying question is whether rules matter in the IETF or whether
> the IETF is subject to whatever ADs feel like declaring at the moment.
I doubt if anyone would disagree.

> If rules do matter, then the IESG needs to follow them.  In very
> concrete terms, the IESG needs to be constrained it its application of a
> Discuss to matters of serious import and to document the basis for an
> application of a Discuss.

Which, in fairness, the IESG has documented, in the DISCUSS criteria
document and generally in practice, over the last several years.
The question surely is whether the IESG failed to do so in this case.
> The current case has an AD asserting a Discuss by claiming a rule that
> does not exist.  That's not judgment call, that's invention.

I haven't seen all the email in this case, so I don't know exactly
what has and hasn't been claimed as a rule. However, I'm arguing that
there is scope on this particular point for concluding that there is
a *technical* issue (a source of confusion, i.e. a lack of clarity).
That may or may not be a valid conclusion. However, one of the two
DISCUSS comments points out that at least 3 of the domains used are
real ones. So the issue of confusion is a real one. What I am
saying is: these DISCUSSes are about a technical issue. They may or
may not be reasonable, but I object to the suggestion that they are
stylistic or editorial (which would automatically make them out of
scope under the IESG's own document).

> Even better is that application of this invented rule on a revision to
> an established standard represents an orientation towards change that is
> de-stabliling rather than helpful.

I don't think that changing to would
destabilise the email system too much.


> With that combination, you can't get much more out of scope.
> d/
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