Re: Venue Announcement for IETFs 98, 99, 102 and 111

John C Klensin <> Thu, 07 January 2016 19:08 UTC

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Date: Thu, 07 Jan 2016 14:08:17 -0500
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Ray Pelletier <>
Subject: Re: Venue Announcement for IETFs 98, 99, 102 and 111
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I think you missed the main point of my concern/question (in
addition to the issue Behcet commented on).  Apologies if I was
not clear.  I am completely confident about the ability of the
IAOC and the Meetings Committee to evaluate financial risks and
get things right on those issues.

However, with regard to setting the policies and priorities
(other than at least breaking even) that determine meeting
locations, my understanding of how the IETF works is that the
IAOC is supposed to be interpreting community views (or
proposing policies to the community and getting approval) and
instructing the Meetings Committee accordingly.  

Independent of the specific concerns, complaints, and general
whining about particular venues or choices, the thing I, and
apparently others, have heard most consistently in recent years
involves people in the community saying "we should reprioritize
so-and-so" and the IAOC or meetings committee responding "can't
do that because we are working three years out".   Some people
have expressed the suspicion that a response of that type is
equivalent to "the tradeoffs are complicated, the community
can't possibly understand them, we understand these things
better than the community does anyway, so we aren't really
interested in input or community oversight".  Even without
believing that, if working three years ahead effectively
suppresses priority determination by the community by making any
such efforts ineffective within any reasonable time, then 5 1/2
is much worse.

Put differently, I think the community gives some things up with
the "3 year" plan, including a lot of potential for close
oversight.  Personally, I think that tradeoff is reasonable (and
two years certainly would be).  But, as we push past three years
and toward 5 1/2 or Fred's nine, the community gives up far more
oversight capability and I think that is unwise.... at least
unless the IAOC and/or meetings committee are willing to provide
a model for preserving that policy and priority oversight while
committing venues far in advance.    Your "these are the issues
we consider, but priorities among them may vary" notes and
information are, IMO, _very_ helpful, but don't address the
issues because the community really should be able to understand
the priorities or at least evaluate the consequences of how they
are applied and then make changes as the community deems


--On Thursday, January 07, 2016 11:03 -0500 Ray Pelletier
<> wrote:


> John,
>> Reflecting on the current discussion of hotels and observing
>> that several people have expressed concern about statements
>> like "can't do anything to change the policies or affect that
>> date or location because we are working three years out",
>> does this imply that you and the IAOC are making commitments
>> we could not change if we wanted to (even if circumstances
>> changed) 5 1/2 years out.   I'm all in favor of pinning down
>> dates well in advance but, when we start talking about
>> commitments to "venues", it is a source of some small anxiety.
> Thanks for raising the issue.  We always evaluate the risks
> when entering into contracts, especially hotel contracts into
> the future.