Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins

John C Klensin <> Fri, 07 October 2022 13:47 UTC

Return-Path: <>
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id B0E8AC1524C5; Fri, 7 Oct 2022 06:47:32 -0700 (PDT)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -1.908
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-1.908 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-1.9, SPF_HELO_NONE=0.001, SPF_NONE=0.001, T_SCC_BODY_TEXT_LINE=-0.01] autolearn=ham autolearn_force=no
Received: from ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id Qcb7G0Bmz4hx; Fri, 7 Oct 2022 06:47:32 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( []) (using TLSv1 with cipher DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA (256/256 bits)) (No client certificate requested) by (Postfix) with ESMTPS id DB915C1524B2; Fri, 7 Oct 2022 06:46:10 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from [] (helo=PSB) by with esmtp (Exim 4.82 (FreeBSD)) (envelope-from <>) id 1ognfz-0004Eb-10; Fri, 07 Oct 2022 09:46:07 -0400
Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2022 09:46:01 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Jay Daley <>, Kjetil Torgrim Homme <>
cc: "Bless, Roland (TM)" <>,
Message-ID: <DD29063A41A7DEA374F8E9E4@PSB>
In-Reply-To: <>
References: <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
X-Mailer: Mulberry/4.0.8 (Win32)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline
X-SA-Exim-Scanned: No (on; SAEximRunCond expanded to false
Archived-At: <>
Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.39
Precedence: list
List-Id: IETF Last Calls <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Archive: <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-List-Received-Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2022 13:47:32 -0000

--On Friday, October 7, 2022 10:50 +0100 Jay Daley
<> wrote:

> Dan however did not introduce it for any serious debate or
> other genuine contribution, he did so solely for the purpose
> of belittling and ridiculing it.  


While agreeing that his statement was extremely distasteful and
unhelpful and without necessarily disagreeing with either your
overall conclusions or reasoning, how can you be sure you
understood Dan's motivations?  If he claims, as I think he has,
that he was intending to use ridicule to make a point, it seems
to me entirely reasonable to make a judgment that doing so was
in bad taste, inappropriate, in violation of IETF guidelines, or
even <#include: several words that should not be used here>.  We
could also plausibly conclude that such statements, however
intended, were disruptive, hurtful, and/or unhealthy for the
then-ongoing constructive discussion and that either
particularly egregious ones or an ongoing pattern of statements
with that sort of impact justify a PR-action.  Or we could
conclude that he has a pattern of such statements, that they are
extremely damaging to useful discussions, and that he has been
asked/warned multiple times to stop or at least mitigate the
language, again justifying a PR-action.  We could even conclude
that his style of discussion is inappropriate (and disruptive)
for a multicultural, multiethnic, multinational, and multiracial
audience (with no implications to be drawn from that order) and,
again, that his regular patterns even after cautions justify a

I believe I has seen people arguing for each of those
conclusions (albeit not in the same messages) in this thread.
Which, if any, of them, the community should actually reach is a
separate question.  I suspect, despite what I assume to be our
very different backgrounds, that we would agree on at least
several of the possible conclusions whether others did or not.  

However I don't quite see how you (or anyone else) can, at least
without an in-depth psychological examination (of Dan, not just
his writings/utterances) by one or more skilled professionals,
reach a definitive conclusion about Dan's mental state,
deep-rooted beliefs, or intent, especially when he claims his
beliefs and intent were and are quite different.  Nor, no matter
what some of us might suspect and have at least implicitly
suggested, do I believe we can definitively separate his actual
intent at the time of the statement from post hoc

Your statement above seems to do just that: state a conclusion
about his intent, why he made the statement, and his purpose.
Would you care to restate it in terms of his actions and
behavior rather than his intentions?


p.s. the kinds of distinctions between observable behavior and
inferences about intent that I am trying to make above go to the
core of my question to the IESG yesterday.  I note that no IESG
member has responded.  I am happy to give them time but would be
very disappointed if there were no response until close to or
after the cutoff for comments.  Given the discussions of the
last few weeks and the points and distinctions that multiple
people have tried to make, I even would go so far as to assert
that non-response would be damaging to the IETF, far more
damaging than any particular response or planned action.