Re: Planned experiment: A new mailing list for last-call discussions

Rob Sayre <> Fri, 13 September 2019 07:22 UTC

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From: Rob Sayre <>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2019 00:22:19 -0700
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Subject: Re: Planned experiment: A new mailing list for last-call discussions
To: Barry Leiba <>
Cc: IETF discussion list <>
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I think this is a good idea to try. It's obviously not an experiment,
because there is no control (as John Klensin pointed out). I also don't
think one can usefully perform an experiment when effects of a treatment
influence a global social graph, so I think the proposal is reasonable.

The core issue is whether people are using the "two purposes" described in
the list description to increase their audience, while the recipients might
have trouble distinguishing between technical traffic and "direction,
policy, and procedures":

"The IETF discussion list serves two purposes. It furthers the development
and specification of Internet technology through discussion of technical
issues, and it hosts discussions of IETF direction, policy, and procedures.
As this is the most general IETF mailing list, considerable latitude is
allowed with respect to topics discussed."[0]

It seems obvious to me that people are exploiting the dual attention of the
audience here, but reasonable people can disagree.

This idea also heads off bad behavior in a way that seems
under-appreciated: currently, people can derail a technical discussion with
a procedural issue, and remain on-topic for the list.

Ship it.