Re: registries and designated experts

John C Klensin <> Wed, 13 June 2012 00:43 UTC

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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 20:43:11 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Randy Bush <>
Subject: Re: registries and designated experts
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--On Wednesday, June 13, 2012 09:29 +0900 Randy Bush
<> wrote:

>> (1) When a document specifies "Expert Review" for a registry,
>> it should be required to spell out the criteria the Expert is
>> supposed to use, at least to the degree that isn't obvious.
>> If it doesn't, that should be grounds for "DISCUSS until
>> fixed".
> given our reknown abilities to predict and understand the
> future, this is going to work out really well. </dripping
> sarcasm>
> of course, any known non-obvious gotchas are worth passing
> along.  but if they are non-obvious to the expert, then i
> suspect they will also have been non-obvious to the doc
> author(s).
> there may be a reason we have not automated this.

I agree with your basic point, but I wasn't suggesting
automation nor predicting the future.  I was suggesting that
giving the expert some guidance about what she is supposed to
look for (if that isn't obvious) and, e.g., whether the default
action on a marginal application is to accept or deny would be
of some help, at least to the expert's sanity.

Taking that comment as an example, I am _not_ suggesting that we
try to define the boundaries of "marginal application".  I also
trust the IESG to make reasonable appointments in at least the
vast majority of cases and assume that these will continue to be
"Expert Reviewers" rather than, e.g., "Robot Reviewers" or
"Moron Reviewers".

Contrary to some other comments, it is not at all clear to me
that having clear guidance will be of a lot of help to
applicants in predicting outcomes.  It would be nice if it
happened, but my main aspiration would be to reduce confusion on
the part of the expert about the expectations of the community.

Put differently, I don't much like oral traditions, especially
secret ones, in bodies like the IETF.  But I'm also in favor of
good sense as a primary guideline here.