Re: [Mtgvenue] Updated potential meeting location list

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Fri, 21 February 2020 17:06 UTC

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Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2020 12:06:37 -0500
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: Bob Hinden <bob.hinden@gmail.com>, "Andrew G. Malis" <agmalis@gmail.com>
cc: mtgvenue@ietf.org, Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: [Mtgvenue] Updated potential meeting location list
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--On Friday, February 21, 2020 07:42 -0800 Bob Hinden
<bob.hinden@gmail.com> wrote:

> Please, do we have to talk about Minneapolis again.   There
> were lots of reason why we stopped going to MPLS.  We outgrew
> the hotel, the hotel got tired of us, there are (as far as I
> can tell) no direct flights out side of North America.   It
> was only luck we never got snowed at the times we meet.

Bob,

I have tried, carefully, to not argue for going back to
Minneapolis.  Speaking personally, I really don't care and there
are lots of other cities on the list.  More important, as long
as we are systematically avoiding venues in the US because of
concerns about visa policies, all of the US cities on the list
are irrelevant, "suitable" or not, and adding another irrelevant
one would change nothing.

I am arguing for a process that is open, transparent, and
predictable.  When we moved away from the oft-secretive meetings
committee, I thought part of the goal was increase openness,
transparency, and predictability of the process, with the public
list of cities being assessed as an important part of that
process.  

One of the other advantages is that dubious assertions or
reasons to identify a location as not suitable can be
cross-checked by the community.  Taking your last two sentences
are examples:

* A very quick search yields the information that there are
non-stop flights from MSP to Amsterdam, London, Paris,
Reykjavik, and Tokyo, in addition to multiple locations in the
Caribbean, Mexico, and Belize (North American on my map but
maybe not in all definitions).  That is several more than "no
direct flights outside..." and several more than several North
American cities listed as "suitable".  Or perhaps Minneapolis is
being confused with, e.g., Austin or Ottawa, neither of which
has non-North American flights to anywhere but London but both
of which are "suitable".

* The risk of getting snowed in is indeed, a reason to avoid
Minneapolis.  It would also be a good reason to avoid Calgary
and Denver, both listed as Suitable, and probably other cities
on the list I didn't scan down far enough notice. Anecdotally,
I've been snowed in and delayed for more than 24 hours at
airports in Denver and Chicago (another place we've met
successfully more than once that is not on the list).
Similarly, the risk of floods or hurricanes would be reasons to
avoid Houston, New Orleans, and a number of Caribbean locations,
most of which are identified as "suitable".   Those problems are
also seasonal: to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever been
snowed in or out of Minneapolis in July but the suitability
criteria don't seem to reflect that.

I'll skip more examples in the interest of not making this
longer.  But, again, what I'm after is a rational, consistent,
open, and transparent process.   Had Minneapolis,  Chicago, and
(in principle) Orlando been listed and listed as "unsuitable",
we might be having a discussion, but it certainly wouldn't be
_this_ discussion.

best,
    john


(And, Jay, my apologies -- there are cities on the list marked
"not suitable"; I just had not spotted them before.)