[Last-Call] Question for the IESG (was: Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins)

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Thu, 06 October 2022 22:02 UTC

Return-Path: <john-ietf@jck.com>
X-Original-To: last-call@ietfa.amsl.com
Delivered-To: last-call@ietfa.amsl.com
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by ietfa.amsl.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id D0E8EC1594BC for <last-call@ietfa.amsl.com>; Thu, 6 Oct 2022 15:02:33 -0700 (PDT)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at amsl.com
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -1.906
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-1.906 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-1.9, RCVD_IN_DNSWL_BLOCKED=0.001, RCVD_IN_ZEN_BLOCKED_OPENDNS=0.001, SPF_HELO_NONE=0.001, SPF_NONE=0.001, T_SCC_BODY_TEXT_LINE=-0.01] autolearn=ham autolearn_force=no
Received: from mail.ietf.org ([]) by localhost (ietfa.amsl.com []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id SdkyWqpBnaU5 for <last-call@ietfa.amsl.com>; Thu, 6 Oct 2022 15:02:28 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from bsa2.jck.com (bsa2.jck.com []) (using TLSv1 with cipher DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA (256/256 bits)) (No client certificate requested) by ietfa.amsl.com (Postfix) with ESMTPS id 45A7CC1594B9 for <last-call@ietf.org>; Thu, 6 Oct 2022 15:02:27 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from [] (helo=PSB) by bsa2.jck.com with esmtp (Exim 4.82 (FreeBSD)) (envelope-from <john-ietf@jck.com>) id 1ogYwj-0001qE-KC for last-call@ietf.org; Thu, 06 Oct 2022 18:02:25 -0400
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2022 18:02:19 -0400
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: last-call@ietf.org
Message-ID: <E07D908383FCC3EF63B6E49F@PSB>
In-Reply-To: <1590543408.1336232.1665076691164@email.ionos.com>
References: <CFE25E25-D131-468E-9923-80350D6216F3@ietf.org> <33dcb391-6304-2a04-0041-ae8a0d9ee107@lounge.org> <118166719.778795.1665054336024@email.ionos.com> <CABcZeBOebDewrhpbntMHWLuF5iNd9WWUwKSTams-zbxEhtYe=w@mail.gmail.com> <1590543408.1336232.1665076691164@email.ionos.com>
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-Mail-From: john-ietf@jck.com
X-SA-Exim-Scanned: No (on bsa2.jck.com); SAEximRunCond expanded to false
Archived-At: <https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/last-call/avzkOfwiPOGqJ5BzKgG5oli0wAo>
Subject: [Last-Call] Question for the IESG (was: Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins)
X-BeenThere: last-call@ietf.org
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.39
Precedence: list
List-Id: IETF Last Calls <last-call.ietf.org>
List-Unsubscribe: <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/options/last-call>, <mailto:last-call-request@ietf.org?subject=unsubscribe>
List-Archive: <https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/last-call/>
List-Post: <mailto:last-call@ietf.org>
List-Help: <mailto:last-call-request@ietf.org?subject=help>
List-Subscribe: <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/last-call>, <mailto:last-call-request@ietf.org?subject=subscribe>
X-List-Received-Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2022 22:02:33 -0000

IESG, hi.

This question is semi-independent of any particular post in the
last couple of weeks, but influenced by several of them.

As I read it, Lars's note (and the copy last week) are about two
things.  One is a very high level one that might be stated as

	 "given the community's cumulative impressions of his
	postings, their content and style, and their effect on
	the IETF being able to work effectively (including
	avoiding driving people away) _and_ the history of his
	being warned to dial it back, is a PR-action, possibly
	with an explicit provision for review at the one year
	point, justified?"

The other is about some rather specific bad acts, particularly
those about "expressing racism".  It appears to me that the
community is divided about that subject and, in particular, the
threshold of vocabulary and/or styles of argument needed to get
from "used some vocabulary, arguments, or examples that can be
interpreted as racist and/or that created some (possibly even
considerable) discomfort" to "expressing racism" or, to say
something that has been said in the discussions but the IESG
note did not say, "he is a racist".

So the question(s), which are very much about the relationship
between "criteria described in BCP 83" and the IESG's Last Call

Is it possible to support the PR-action as described in the Last
Call without endorsing all of the IESG's statement or the
appropriateness of some of the examples?  If so, how should that
be done in a way in which the concerns do not get lost?  In
particular, if the IESG concludes that community consensus
favors moving forward with the action itself, but that there is
at least a significant minority (enough to make the consensus
very rough) who are concerned about the IESG's reasoning, will
that be reflected in whatever final statement the IESG makes on
the matter and about its decision?

I am asking because, while I think parts of it have been very
helpful and should be considered going forward, I am probably at
least as sick of the scale and tone of some of the discussion as
I infer at least some IESG members are. I also agree with those
who have suggested that parts of the discussion itself have been
at least as unpleasant, divisive, and disruptive than anything
Dan (or anyone else, at least anyone not in the leadership)
could manage on their own.   I'm trying to lay the foundation
for a way forward that is more closely focused on the rather
specific criteria that I understand (and have understood since
2003-2004) BCP 83 to be about.  Or, to put it differently to
allow asking if a PR-action against Dan is the right decision
whether or not the IESG wrote the optimal description of why
action should be taken and why.  

And, fwiw, if, for some of us including myself, endorsing the
PR-action will be taken as an endorsement of the current IESG
statement and the methods and reasons for getting to this point,
then it might feel that the endorsement/ approval is too
expensive in terms of, e.g., the precedents that might be set.

I am sure some will feel that moving in that direction would be
letting the IESG off the hook for some of what appears in the
description Lars circulated, but I believe that the IETF would
better off if we could treat that as a separate question,
perhaps even one that, for some community members reflecting on
some IESG members, should be discussed with the Nomcom.