Re: Strong objection to draft-ietf-WG-*.all noise levels

Robert Sparks <> Mon, 09 February 2015 22:25 UTC

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Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2015 16:25:12 -0600
From: Robert Sparks <>
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Subject: Re: Strong objection to draft-ietf-WG-*.all noise levels
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One detail that's a consequence of what's below that I wanted to highlight:

If a group is getting copied on the state change notices for a document 
right now, it's because the group is listed in the "Send notices to" 
(aka Notify) field in the datatracker. If a chair wants to alter that 
for a document (or all documents for a group), they can do so by editing 
the notify field (or asking their AD to do so). In any case, I suggest 
coordinating that with the appropriate AD given what's in the links I 
sent below.


On 2/9/15 2:11 PM, Robert Sparks wrote:
> Hi Brian:
> There are a couple of moving targets in what you're objecting to that 
> I think we need to be careful to tease apart.
> Here's a bit of detail to help with that (I hope):
> 1) the .all alias includes any address that is covered by any other 
> generated alias (currently that's .authors, .chairs, .ad, and .notify)
> 2) the .notify alias is populated directly from the Notify field for a 
> draft in the tracker. You can see what that's currently set to for a 
> draft by looking at the "Send notifications to" line on the document's 
> main page.
> 3) The IESG directed that when a working group draft begins IESG 
> processing, the working group be added to the notify field by default. 
> See
> and
> So, I _think_ the conversation you need to be having to address your 
> objection is with the IESG on the decision to add the group to the 
> default notification list.
> That said, there are some things we're doing to the aliases to make 
> where things are coming from easier to figure out. None of what's 
> below will change whether a working group gets the state-change 
> notifications, but it may help explain other aspects of what you've 
> been recently seeing.
> 4) We're working on providing pages that show the expansions of the 
> aliases at similar to the pages that are at 
> This isn't happening immediately because the mail processing systems 
> are different, and there are some extra gears that we're having to 
> incorporate.
> 5) The most recent datatracker releases have made incremental changes 
> to the way the aliases are used. In particular, mail sent through the 
> aliases should end up with fully expanded To header fields at this 
> point. We are also working on adding the fields (already present when 
> using aliases) that make it easy to see exactly what 
> alias got invoked.
> 6) From the links above, you'll see that part of the  original 
> implementation was to add .all to the Notify field (in addition to the 
> working group). That led to some trouble since .all contains .notify - 
> there's an include loop, and some of the dynamics of integrating with 
> the mail handling at vs led to not catching 
> that loop in the right place (this was affecting a few drafts last 
> week). This has been addressed, both by more careful loop protection, 
> and by changing what gets put in Notify to not use .all directly.
> Again, those last 3 items are just part of the context - they don't 
> affect the primary concern you're raising. That lives solidly with 
> spirit of the decision at item 3) above.
> RjS
> On 2/9/15 1:00 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I see that the tracker has started using email aliases of the
>> form draft-ietf-WG-* to report on state changes,
>> and that these aliases now apparently include the WG as well
>> as the interested parties.
>> This is highly obnoxious. One problem is that for most recipients
>> the messages are pure noise (and any follow-up messages whose CC
>> list isn't manually pruned are additional noise). Another problem
>> is that they are in effect BCC'ed to the WG, so existing filters
>> don't catch these messages. A consequent problem of that is that
>> many people are likely to do what I'm about to do: figure out how
>> to spam filter all this noise, thereby risking to miss any such messages
>> that actually matter.
>> Please please please remove the WG lists from these aliases.
>> If something really needs to be brought to the WG's attention,
>> there are people who know they should do that.
>> Regards
>>     Brian Carpenter