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

Tim Chown <> Mon, 03 December 2012 09:49 UTC

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Subject: Re: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists"
From: Tim Chown <>
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Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2012 19:12:26 +0000
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On 29 Nov 2012, at 18:51, SM <> wrote:

> Hi Ed,
> At 06:54 29-11-2012, Edward Lewis wrote:
>> Earlier in the thread I saw that someone expressed dismay that BOFs seem to be WG's that have already been meeting in secret.  I agree with that.  At the last meeting in Atlanta, I filled in sessions with BOFs and found that the ones I chose seemed as if they were already on the way to a predetermined solution.  Only one had a presentation trying to set up the problem to be solved, others just had detailed talks on draft solutions.  In one there was a complaint that the mail list wasn't very active - not a WG, a BOF!  Not very engaging.

The complaint about a quiet mail list may have been a comment I made at the mdnsext BoF.  The reason for that is that the guidance we have for holding a BoF (RFC 5434) recommends forming a public mail list a couple of months before the IETF meeting where the BoF is planned and to have substantive list discussion in advance of the BoF, which should help form a solid problem statement and draft charter.

>  Extensions of the Bonjour Protocol Suite (mdnsext) BoF
> The agenda [5] mentions "Goals of the BoF" with a link.  I don't recall whether any proposed solution was discussed.

Some views on potential solutions were made at the mic in the BoF.  But the draft that was presented was a requirements draft, not a solutions one. I'll speak to Ralph soon about moving this forward. 

>> Bringing in baked work because there are multiple independent and non-interoperable solutions is what the IETF is all about.  Bringing in a baked specification just to get a stamp on it is not.

The former is a driver for mdnsext, i.e. a number of vendors producing potentially non-interoperable mDNS proxying solutions. I don't see a problem with the latter, especially if it documents something useful that is otherwise opaque.

Certainly some WG lists have a lot of traffic, and on lists it's easy for a small number of vocal people to dominate the discussion, which is less likely to happen face to face (where people have to queue and take turns).