Re: Qualitative Analysis of IETF and IESG trends (Re: Measuring IETF and IESG trends)

Lakshminath Dondeti <> Fri, 27 June 2008 19:32 UTC

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Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 07:09:40 -0700
From: Lakshminath Dondeti <>
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Subject: Re: Qualitative Analysis of IETF and IESG trends (Re: Measuring IETF and IESG trends)
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Thanks for your response.  Please see inline:

On 6/26/2008 4:23 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> Lakshminath,
> On 2008-06-26 23:43, Lakshminath Dondeti wrote:
>> On 6/25/2008 2:41 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> ...
>>> Our fundamental collective job is defined in RFC 3935:
>>>    The mission of the IETF is to produce high quality, relevant
>>>    technical and engineering documents that influence the way people
>>>    design, use, and manage the Internet in such a way as to make the
>>>    Internet work better.
>>> That means that it is *not* our collective job to ensure that a WG
>>> consensus survives critical review by the IETF as a whole and by
>>> the IESG, if there's reason to believe that the IETF as a whole
>>> doesn't agree with the WG consensus. And it's clearly the IESG's
>>> job to ensure that the critical review and final consensus (or lack
>>> of consensus) occur.
>> But, surely the WG consensus counts as part of the overall IETF
>> consensus process, doesn't it?  Please see the example in my response to
>> Jari.  The shepherding AD (or at least the document shepherd) has an
>> idea of the WG consensus as well as the IETF consensus.  We cannot
>> simply weigh the latest opinions more than all the discussions that have
>> happened as part of the WG consensus.
> At one level I agree. But suppose that the set of people who are
> active in the SXFG7M WG are so focused on the sxfg7m protocol that
> they have all missed the fact that it's extremely damaging to
> normal operations of the m7gfxs protocol? And this includes the
> responsible AD, who has no deep knowledge of m7gfxs? This is the sort
> of problem that IETF Last Call and IESG review is intended to find,
> and it may well mean that the WG consensus ends up being irrelevant
> to the IETF non-consensus. (I'm not in the least suggesting that
> this applies to the draft that led to the appeal that led to this
> thread.)

For what it's worth, I am not talking about a specific draft or a 
specific WG at this point.  I am of the opinion that we are not 
discussing a one-off issue.

If protocol X disrupts protocol Y, we get into very interesting 
situations.  It is also going to get us into a rathole that I want to avoid.

My point was this: if a WG actually missed anything substantial and that 
comes out during an IETF last call, and the shepherding AD agrees, the 
document gets sent back to the WG.  If the shepherding AD also misses or 
misjudges, any member of the IESG can send it back to the WG for 
resolution.  What I think is not acceptable is for the author and one or 
more DISCUSS ADs to hack up the document and publish it.

If it so happens that the issue raised was considered and ruled out as a 
non-issue by the WG, then the shepherding AD knows the situation 
already.  Strong consensus in the working group damaging a protocol that 
matters to very few people (ok, that's a rathole) -- but here is where 
judgment is necessary.  And as you note, any of the judgment calls are 


> My conclusion, again, is that in the end this is the sort of
> judgment call that we *expect* the IESG to make. And when we
> feel they've misjudged, we appeal, and that tunes their judgment
> for the future.
>     Brian
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