Re: Authoring tools survey (Was: Jim: Re: [rfc-i] FIXED: Poll: RFCs with page numbers (pretty please) ? (was: Re: John/rsoc: Re: Page numbers in RFCs questions / preferences))

IETF Executive Director <> Sun, 01 November 2020 20:16 UTC

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Subject: Re: Authoring tools survey (Was: Jim: Re: [rfc-i] FIXED: Poll: RFCs with page numbers (pretty please) ? (was: Re: John/rsoc: Re: Page numbers in RFCs questions / preferences))
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2020 09:16:48 +1300
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Cc: The IETF List <>
To: John C Klensin <>
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Hi John

> On 30/10/2020, at 6:28 PM, John C Klensin <> wrote:
> Jay, I copied you explicitly on this because, while I'll try to
> find time in the next few days to go through your survey, I want
> to make an observation after looking at the first page, one that
> relates critically to the comments above: at least IMO, the best
> interests of the Internet and the IETF are going to be best
> served by being as inclusive as possible, including inclusive of
> people with different backgrounds, habits, and consequent
> preferences about tools and ways of working.  If we say that we
> ran a survey and the vast majority prefer method A or B and
> hence we are going to concentrate our energy and resources
> there, we need to understand that people who prefer method C or
> D (or who have attitudes toward A and B more negative than those
> Keith expresses above about XML) are as likely to drop out and
> go elsewhere than to learn, and become enthused about, A or B.
> And that situation could be even worse if there is only an A and
> no B.   Were this or other things to leave an IETF that was a
> wonderful place for people with one type of history, work
> styles, and preferences to do their work but with everyone else
> shut out, its opinions and consensus would not be worth much
> consideration by the wider world and it would basically not be
> worth the resources to keep it going.  No one issue or decision
> is likely to produce that outcome, but, again IMO, it is more
> important to concentrate on preserving diversity along those
> dimensions (not just demographic ones) rather than asking
> questions about the preferences of those who happen to be active
> now and assuming the answers tell us where we should be going.
> Certainly there are resource and common-sense limits on how far
> we can or should go but caution about doing a survey and then
> going with majority opinions or practices would seem to be in
> order if only because, almost by definition, you aren't going to
> hear from those who have walked away.

How about we wait to see what the data says before we plan mitigations for hypothetical impacts of hypothetical edge cases?

The survey has value for multiple groups - Tools Team, Tools Architecture and Strategy Team, RSOC and rfc-interest - and there are likely to be discussions on how to respond to it in all of them.


> best,
>   john

Jay Daley
IETF Executive Director