Re: Respecting the IETF rough consensus process

Dave Crocker <> Wed, 06 November 2013 19:02 UTC

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Date: Wed, 06 Nov 2013 11:01:33 -0800
From: Dave Crocker <>
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To: Dan Harkins <>
Subject: Re: Respecting the IETF rough consensus process
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On 11/6/2013 10:52 AM, Dan Harkins wrote:
>    If there is actually "pretty obvious and massively strong support" then
> there is not only rough consensus, there is some pretty solid consensus.

There seems to be some common confusion here.

There's a difference between my or your personal belief about a state of 
affairs, such as what a group feels, versus the formal mechanism of 
assessing it.  I merely offered my personal opinion.

What's needed is the formal mechanism of explicitly and formally 
engaging in the consensus process that is well-established in the IETF. 
  This requires a call, it requires processing feedback publicly and 
carefully, and it requires an on-the-record assessment of the responses.

> And then there's no need to assign a facilitator to track and resolve
> issues. We're done.

Possibly, but probably not.  We have already seen quite a bit of 
critical feedback.  Not just from me.  There is no record of any of it 
getting processed accountably, with respect to the document.

I say that in spite of the fact that some of the changes I suggested did 
make it into the current draft.  But it was a black box (ie, not public 
and not accountable) process.

We're not supposed to work that way.

>    But the sentiment expressed above is unfortunate I think because it
> dismisses dissent and just pay lip service to addressing the concerns
> that dissent represents. You're talking about entering into a supposedly
> consensus building process with the notion that the decision is already
> made.

I am doing no such thing.  I said massive support for doing something.

I didn't say I know there's massive support for the current text (though 
it won't surprise me if there is that) but I also said there is a 
requirement for processing concerns.

And for reference, I'll repeat that there is also the requirement to vet 
the current text with legal and human resources experts.


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking