Re: Out-of-area ADs [Re: IETF areas re-organisation steps]

Brian E Carpenter <> Sun, 28 December 2014 19:09 UTC

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Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2014 08:09:28 +1300
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
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To:, Pete Resnick <>
Subject: Re: Out-of-area ADs [Re: IETF areas re-organisation steps]
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On 29/12/2014 07:33, Dave Crocker wrote:
>> However, we have not found that ADs are so specialized that there
>> is a "correct" AD for every WG,
> raises the possibility that AD job descriptions ought to make
> explicit reference to cross-area skills?  This, of course, leads to
> the challenge of figuring out what that means, in pragmatic terms.

This ties back into Nico's point about maybe flattening the hierarchy (*)
and essentially abolishing areas as such. I have much sympathy with that,
although it's a bit scary. But it means that we would indeed change the
criteria for picking ADs. We wouldn't be looking for, say, a Transport AD
who is a widely recognised expert on congestion control, or a Security AD
who is competent to verify a crypto algorithm. In fact, over-specialisation
would be a *disqualification* for serving on the IESG.

Serving as a Gen-ART reviewer has been a great experience for me, but has
often forced me out of my technical comfort zone. It would be the same
for the IESG in such a new order. They would have to depend more than
today on expert reviewers.

(*) I have just read "The Innovators" by Walter Isaacson, which I highly
recommend as history of our corner of the world. He makes the point that
successful innovation in our technology has mainly taken place in
flattened hierarchies, or despite the hierarchy. The IETF is mentioned
a couple of times in the book, along with names like Cerf, Kahn,
Berners-Lee and Crocker (the other one).