Barely literate minutes (was: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists")

SM <> Wed, 28 November 2012 11:29 UTC

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Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 03:28:37 -0800
To: John C Klensin <>
From: SM <>
Subject: Barely literate minutes (was: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists")
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Hi John,

[subject line mutated to reflect topic being discussed]

At 01:25 28-11-2012, John C Klensin wrote:
>This is, IMO, a consequence of our developing fancy tools and
>then uncritically relying on them.  A Jabber log or real-time
>Etherpad may be, and probably is, a very helpful way to keep
>real-time notes within a meeting but some WGs have substituted
>nearly-unedited versions of them (especially the latter) for
>minutes.  They are not minutes, certainly not minutes as


Nobody likes to write minutes.  Very few people volunteer their free 
time to do them (thanks to John Leslie for scribing the IESG 
minutes).  When there is a discussion about producing minutes people 
come up with proposals for fancy tools.  This is where someone says: 
"Etherpad can do that".  There is a moment of silence when somebody 
finds out that there's nobody using Etherpad to take notes about 
what's going on.  Who would have thought that these fancy tools 
cannot work without people? :-)

>contemplated by RFC 2418, and I sincerely hope that the IESG and
>the community push back on those "barely literate" notes before
>there is an appeal against a WG decision or document approval
>that is based, even in part, on failure of the WG to comply with
>that 2418 requirement.

The community is too lethargic to push back on those "barely 
literate" notes.  One of these days there will be such an appeal.