Re: Useful slide tex (was - Re: English spoken here)

Keith Moore <> Mon, 03 December 2012 14:28 UTC

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Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2012 09:28:40 -0500
From: Keith Moore <>
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To: "George, Wes" <>
Subject: Re: Useful slide tex (was - Re: English spoken here)
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On 12/03/2012 08:57 AM, George, Wes wrote:
>> From: [] On Behalf Of
>> Keith Moore
>    A different toolset, (e.g. pens and paper
>> and overhead cameras coupled to projectors), would likely produce better
>> results if that toolset did not encourage laziness in preparing
>> materials to facilitate discussion.
> [WEG] I don't know about anyone else here, but you do *not* want me to attempt to facilitate a discussion using freehand drawings and writing. My handwriting and drawing skill was bad before I discovered a keyboard, and years of atrophy have made its usefulness approach zero as a meaningful method of communication. You'd be better off with the aforementioned stone tablets and cuneiform in terms of understanding.

Nothing would prevent you from preparing drawings in advance (even using 
PowerPoint, if you wished) and bringing them to the meeting on paper.   
And you could still annotate them with pens during the discussion if you 
found it useful to do so.   For that matter, nothing would prevent you 
from plugging your laptop into the projector, except perhaps the groans 
from the participants who might think you were about to start a 

> And I echo what Dave said - quit blaming the tools and assuming that forcing people to use tools they're not used to using will fix this.
I've seen over and over again that the choice of tools significantly 
affects how people interact and the quality of their interaction, and 
I'm frankly amazed that others in IETF haven't seen this also.

And I don't really propose that people be forbidden to use PowerPoint.  
There will still be times when it's an appropriate tool, and 
hard-and-fast process rules can create as many problems as they solve.

But I do suggest that if someone is alloted a discussion session in an 
IETF WG meeting, that he should think twice before sitting down to use 
PowerPoint to crank out a deck of slides for it.

I also realize that people don't like to change the tools that they're 
accustomed to using.  But the whole point of this discussion is to 
encourage this community, and people in this community, to make better 
use of precious meeting time, have better discussions, produce better 
specifications, and to do so more quickly.  To the extent which our 
community's habits have contributed to poor use of meeting time and 
degraded the quality of discussion, it makes sense to reexamine those 
habits.  And use of PowerPoint is one of those habits which I believe 
should be reexamined.

> You have a very specific opinion of what an effective WG session should be like and what people should and should not be doing to facilitate such. Sounds like you need to work with the EDU team to give a Sunday afternoon training session entitled "how not to turn a WG session into a broadcast-only medium" possibly with a section for WG chairs and a section for potential speakers.
Years ago, my impression was that that Sunday training sessions were 
pretty much ignored by anyone experienced in the organization.  Is this 
still the case?