Re: Virtual BOFs

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Sun, 10 January 2016 04:47 UTC

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Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2016 23:47:36 -0500
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Subject: Re: Virtual BOFs
From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
To: John C Klensin <>
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On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 3:53 PM, John C Klensin <> wrote:
> --On Sunday, January 10, 2016 07:40 +1300 Brian E Carpenter
> <> wrote:
>>> (4) "Couldn't make a determination, due eitherto lack of
>>> attendance by key people or some technical issue.".   As with
>>> (3), little has been lost and we can always hold a physical
>>> BOF under traditional rules if needed.
>> Speaking from the time-zone-challenged corner, I see a high
>> risk of hitting (4) rather frequently. Of course you can argue
>> that there is also a high risk of hitting (4) with face2face
>> BOFs at unpopular destinations.
> Yes.  I could also suggest that the virtual plan gives more
> flexibility of scheduling to accommodate people who are
> "normally" time-zone-challenged or even of holding two sessions
> at different times and collecting information from both.  (4)
> may certainly happen and, again, if it does, it seems to me that
> we gain some small amount of information and don't lose much.
> We will clearly have to experiment and learn as we go along but
> it seems to me that, if we don't need just about everyone in the
> same physical room at the same time, it opens up all sorts of
> possibilities.
>> That said, it does seem worth a try.
> thx.
>    john
> p.s. I read Phillip's note, but I see most of the issues he has
> raised as more "bad charter", "bad WG management", "failure of
> the IESG to supervise adequately", or even "not enough
> mechanisms for feedback by the broader community into how a WG
> is going" and not specifically BOF problems.

The BOF part of the issue is what the purpose of the BOF should be.

I think we spend rather too little time discussing what the general
problem space is. There are main two ways that a WG can fail. The
first is that they pick something so big and complex that they can't
deliver. We haven't done that for a long time. The second is that they
tackle a problem so small that either nobody cares or nobody can
actually make use of it without the rest of the support required. We
do that a lot.

Having a virtual BOF and spending a day or two days brainstorming the
problem area is probably a better use of people's time than a lot of
other things we do.