Re: Interim meetings - changing the way we work

Benoit Claise <> Wed, 25 February 2015 10:40 UTC

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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:40:23 +0100
From: Benoit Claise <>
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Subject: Re: Interim meetings - changing the way we work
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Hi Tom,

In the WGs for which interim meetings are hold, there is really an 
increased speed of development. I can see this in NETMOD for example. So 
I've been encouraging more interim meetings, when we have the right 
audience in the call.

While we transition to more interim meetings, we have to admit that 
different WGs uses different tools (webex, github, svn, etherpad, irc). 
I don't believe that imposing the interim meeting tools is right. We 
should let each community chose.
Coming back to NETMOD (which is missing some entries at, it works with 
SVN. Everything is documented at, as communicated on 
the mailing list. However, you are right, we should follow the process, 
and go the extra mile to complete the information at

Final thought. I believe that some of our tooling will need to adapt 
anyway for interim meeting management. For example, I missed some 
interim meetings in my WGs based on the simple rule: if it's not in my 
calendar, it doesn't exist. The format is not very helpful for 
that. We need a way to easily schedule, evaluate conflicts, and download 
the .ics ... in a type of calendar view.

Regards, Benoit
> There has been a marked increase in the number of  interim meetings.
> Using
> as a guide, there were
> 18 in 2011
> 35 in 2012
> 45 in 2013
> 84 in 2014
> 13 in January 2015 alone.
> With them comes a change in the way of working, perhaps rendering some
> of our practices historic.
> Of the 84 meetings listed for 2014, 21 left no other trace on the IETF
> web site, no Agenda, no Minutes, no Proceedings.  Perhaps the WG
> provided no materials, perhaps they did not happen; sometimes a
> cancellation notice is apparent in the WG List Archives, other times
> not.
> Of the 63 that have left a trace, 6 produced no Minutes but did produce
> slides or recordings and so presumably happened.
> Of the 57 that produced Minutes, 18 produced no Agenda while in 13
> cases, the Minutes contained no list of Attendees (goodbye Blue
> Sheets?).
> Only 26 meetings left a complete record, of Agenda, Minutes and
> Attendees.
> The meetings encompassed 30 Working Groups, of which 16 met once, 14
> more than once, with one WG meeting 8 times.
> What is more subjective is that, with Virtual Interims, increasingly the
> only kind, there is a tendency for the WG Mailing List to no longer
> provide a record of discussions, choices, consensus.  For example, they
> may make greater use of github so that the minutes record a discussion
> of options 1, 2 and 3 for Issue 29 with no indication of what the issue
> or options are; a while later, they may record an update to option 3 so
> it would now seem impossible to know what was discussed at the earlier
> meeting.
> Even with the better minutes, they never give the same sense as posts to
> a mailing list of who was or was not in favour and how strong their view
> was.
> Of course, we still have WG Last Calls on the list but if at a future
> date, an AD or GenArt reviewer wants to look back and see what options
> were discussed and  how rough the consensus was, well, it may be
> impossible.
> A post in another thread recently said
>> I do think that the increased significance of meetings
>> in IETF participation (and here, I'm not talking about
>> things like nomcom but about significance to our technical
>> work) is a problem, both because it tends to marginalize
>> people who can't come to meetings and because it slows
>> work down.
> Well, I disagree about slowing the work down but certainly agree with
> the marginalisation, that WGs holding multiple Interims may tend to
> develop an in-crowd of those that can participate with the world at
> large only seeing the end result without knowing how it was arrived at
> by whom.
> Tom Petch
> .