Re: Changes to the way we manage RFPs

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Wed, 26 February 2020 20:34 UTC

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Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2020 15:34:08 -0500
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: Spencer Dawkins at IETF <spencerdawkins.ietf@gmail.com>, Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org>
cc: IETF <ietf@ietf.org>
Subject: Re: Changes to the way we manage RFPs
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--On Wednesday, February 26, 2020 12:54 -0600 Spencer Dawkins at
IETF <spencerdawkins.ietf@gmail.com> wrote:

>...
> So, my point is that there are mailing lists that are having
> discussions of interest to the community, that it's not easy
> to for the community to find out about. And now, I might have
> told you about one more!
> 
> It happens that I'm subscribing to mailing lists at a couple
> of other SDOs. One has a "here's a list of all the mailing
> lists you can subscribe to" page, and the other one ...
> doesn't.

Noting that we have two lists that, combined, are all the
mailing lists one can subscribe to, it is clear (at least to me)
that, as we split historically-combined lists, we need to do
more than that.  Mixing, as
https://datatracker.ietf.org/list/nonwg does, an RFP
announcement list in with the "non-WG lists" collection (a
mixture of lists from closed WGs, lists proposing work,
meeting-specific lists, assorted IAB and IRTF lists, now
assorted "ag" lists, several lists that probably belonged to the
IAOC and that don't appear to have been moved over, some lists
that were created because someone (possibly a frequent
disrupter) asked for them and some AD gave in, a few lists that
are horribly outdated, and so on.  If one happens to know the
name of a particular list, that list may provide pointers to
information.  Or it may not: there are many lists for which the
"Description" is missing from that page, the page does not
distinguish among categories of lists (not even the ex-WG ones
are consistently identified in descriptions), and a large
fraction of the lists have "About" sections on their web pages
that are essentially information-free.  Adding another
complication, some are open, some aren't and there is rarely any
way to distinguish from that page.  I also found several dead
links as I sampled my way through that page today.

So, Jay, let me suggest a project for you or someone you
recruit.  Go through that "non-WG mailing lists" page and see if
it is possible to index it in compact and accessible form,
perhaps following the model of https://www.ietf.org/links/.  In
the process, see if you can identify lists, including the
several meeting planning ones, that should "belong to" the IETF
Administrative LLC and/or you as ExecDir, think about doing a
little winnowing if appropriate and clean up the descriptions
for the rest.  Think about putting an "IETF Administration LLC"
entry on that links page and listing LLC-related lists,
including those meeting ones, the RFP one, etc., under it.  In
the process, you might want to split "hopelessly outdated and of
interest only to historians" lists off from the main body of the
non-WG list and put them into a nice place of their own (for
example, I doubt anyone is likely, in their normal course of
IETF work, to consult "101all", which is probably good because
the other list of lists (https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo )
claims there is no such list).

At least that should help clarify the problem of "maybe there is
a list for that, now how do I find it").   Our historical
tendency to use names for lists and WGs that are stronger on
cuteness than information obviously does not help.

>> > And so on.  I don't know the answers to any of those
>> > questions, but would hope that you (and we) would think
>> > about them.
>> 
>> Will do. I suspect the way forward requires a dose of
>> creativity.
> 
> And communication! Darn it ...

Indeed.... to both communication and creativity.

> Do the right thing, of course.

Of course.

best,
   john