When to adopt a draft as a WG doc (was RE: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists")

"George, Wes" <wesley.george@twcable.com> Wed, 28 November 2012 15:38 UTC

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From: "George, Wes" <wesley.george@twcable.com>
To: John Leslie <john@jlc.net>, Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 10:36:29 -0500
Subject: When to adopt a draft as a WG doc (was RE: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists")
Thread-Topic: When to adopt a draft as a WG doc (was RE: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists")
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> From: ietf-bounces@ietf.org [mailto:ietf-bounces@ietf.org] On Behalf Of
> John Leslie
>     I'm increasingly seeing a "paradigm" where the review happens
> _before_ adoption as a WG draft. After adoption, there's a great lull
> until the deadline for the next IETF week. There tend to be a few,
> seemingly minor, edits for a version to be discussed. The meeting time
> is taken up listing changes, most of which get no discussion. Lather,
> rinse, repeat...

[WEG] I've seen several discussions recently across WG lists, WG chairs list, etc about this specific topic, and it's leading me to believe that we do not have adequate guidance for either WG chairs or participants on when it is generally appropriate to adopt a draft as a WG document. I see 3 basic variants just among the WGs that I'm actively involved in:
1) adopt early because the draft is talking about a subject the WG wants to work on (may or may not be an official charter milestone), and then refine a relatively rough draft through several I-D-ietf-[wg]-* revisions before WGLC
2) adopt after several revisions of I-D-[person]-[wg]-* because there has been enough discussion to make the chairs believe that the WG has interest or the draft has evolved into something the WG sees as useful/in charter; Then there are only minor tweaks in the draft up until WGLC (the above model)
3) don't adopt the draft until some defined criteria are met (e.g. interoperable implementations), meaning that much of the real work gets done in the individual version

It seems to me that these variants are dependent on the people in the WG, the workload of the group, the chairs, past precedent, AD preferences, etc. It makes it difficult on both draft editors and those seeking to follow the discussion for there to be such a disparity from WG to WG on when to adopt drafts. I'm not convinced that there is a one-size-fits-all solution here, but it might be nice to coalesce a little from where we are today.
So I wonder if perhaps we need clearer guidance on what the process is actually supposed to look like and why. If someone can point to a document that gives guidance here, then perhaps we all need to be more conscientious about ensuring that the WGs we participate in are following the available guidance on the matter.

Wes George

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