Virtual BOFs (was: Re: Venue Announcement for IETFs 98, 99, 102 and 111)

John C Klensin <> Sat, 09 January 2016 14:55 UTC

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Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2016 09:54:52 -0500
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Jari Arkko <>, Nadeau Thomas <>
Subject: Virtual BOFs (was: Re: Venue Announcement for IETFs 98, 99, 102 and 111)
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--On Saturday, January 09, 2016 11:21 +0200 Jari Arkko
<> wrote:

> Here's a question that I think would be worthwhile to
> consider. We do create working groups in some cases even
> without running a physical BOF meeting, but mostly in cases
> where the creation of that working group is a no brainer. What
> would it take to run the next interesting/controversial BOF as
> a virtual meeting? It would great if we could do this, but
> I'm not sure it is easy either. (I'm not trying to
> eliminate the meetings as a useful venue to do BOFs, but in
> many cases the ability to decide the matter when it comes up
> as opposed to many months away might be useful for other
> reasons.)


Probably an excellent idea, especially since I can only see four
possible outcomes from any given attempt:

(1) "We know enough now, form the WG".  In that case, we save
calendar and meeting time and are able to get on with the work

(2) "This is conclusively a bad idea or not ready for IETF work"
or "it is now clear that no one other than the author cares".
As with the above, saves time and allows us to get on with our

(3) "Don't know enough, need either another virtual meeting or
an in-person BOF".   In that case, we haven't really lost
anything and probably have more information than we would have
had from mailing list discussion alone.

(4) "Couldn't make a determination, due eitherto lack of
attendance by key people or some technical issue.".   As with
(3), little has been lost and we can always hold a physical BOF
under traditional rules if needed.

Each of those seems to me to be a win, although in different
ways.  Equally useful, if we encouraged people to hold these
virtual sessions well before the request cut-off date for
in-meeting BOFs, those who requested them will be able to submit
normal request if needed, will have more information, and IETF
work will be better spread out between meetings.