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

SM <> Fri, 27 June 2008 17:47 UTC

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Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 10:47:13 -0700
To: Lakshminath Dondeti <>
From: SM <>
Subject: Re: Qualitative Analysis of IETF and IESG trends (Re: Measuring IETF and IESG trends)
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Hi Lakshminath,
At 07:11 27-06-2008, Lakshminath Dondeti wrote:
>Is it really necessary for all the battles to repeat on the IETF 
>list? Why can't the shepherding AD judge the overall consensus?

No, it is not necessary.  One could read the WG discussion of the 
topic instead of rehashing the same arguments on the IETF list.  The 
shepherd is there to gather information, get the document through the 
various stages and provide coordination.

The PACT I-D may be a useful read:

"An IETF effort is designed to resolve engineering choices for one 
issue and then move to a new issue.  It is not reasonable to permit 
arbitrary criticisms to be raised late in the process, derailing the 
incremental effort of a WG.

It is always reasonable to raise fundamental engineering problems, 
but it is essential to distinguish these from matters of engineering 
aesthetics.  In particular, the IETF Last Call and IESG review 
periods are not intended for second-guessing a WG's design choices -- 
the purpose of an IETF Last Call and IESG review is to focus on the 
overall viability of the document."

I'll also highlight a few points from RFC 3774:

Participants are frequently allowed to re-open previously closed 
issues just to replay parts of the previous discussion without 
introducing new material.  This may be either because the decision 
has not been clearly documented, or it may be a maneuver to try to 
get a decision changed because the participant did not concur with 
the consensus originally.

On the other hand, the decision making process must allow discussions 
to be re-opened if significant new information comes to light or 
additional experience is gained which appears to justify alternative 
conclusions for a closed issue.  One cause that can lead to 
legitimate attempts to re-open an apparently closed issue is the 
occurrence of 'consensus by exhaustion'.

The IETF culture of openness also tends to tolerate participants who, 
whilst understanding the principles of the IETF, disagree with them 
and actively ignore them.  This can be confusing for newer 
participants, but they need to be made aware that the IETF does not 
exclude such people.


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