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Re: WebDAV Working Group Meeting

From: Keith Moore <moore@cs.utk.edu>
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 1999 16:55:01 -0400
Message-Id: <199909082055.QAA11150@astro.cs.utk.edu>
To: Greg Stein <gstein@lyra.org>
cc: Keith Moore <moore@cs.utk.edu>, w3c-dist-auth@w3.org, paf@swip.net
> Actually, I'm somewhat amazed as the desire to blow away this working
> group. It is still performing a lot of work with the WebDAV extensions.
> If this list goes away, then what? Where does all this discussion go
> then?

Many years of experience with IETF working groups indicates that,
in general, they start to become ineffective after 18 months or so.  
There are a variety of reasons for this, but in general we have found
that such groups are likely to either bog down, or go off into the weeds
doing things which are very different from their charters, and often,
at cross-purposes with other groups.  Furthermore many members of the 
group will be burned out by this time (e.g. they are tired of revisiting 
the same issues over and over, or their employer is no longer as 
supportive of the work), which means that any purported consensus 
of the group has to be viewed with suspicion.  So after about 18 
months we start looking for a way to gracefully close down the group.
Often it takes much longer than that, because we don't want to be more
disruptive than necessary.

If more work remains to be done, we can always create a new group.  
This gives us a chance both to refocus on the new work at hand
and also to recruit new participants. 

Working group mailing lists are rarely shut down even after the group
is closed; a WG mailing list typically remains active for as long as 
someone is willing to maintain it.   Such lists are often consulted
by IESG, e.g. when their expertise is needed to review a draft document.

Keith

p.s. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule - we made an exception for HTTP -
it's an administrative decision which has been made by the area director.
Received on Wednesday, 8 September 1999 17:00:17 GMT

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