agenda, and the chair's seeming inconsistency

Larry Masinter (masinter@parc.xerox.com)
Thu, 13 Jul 1995 13:20:52 PDT


To: uri@bunyip.com
Subject: agenda, and the chair's seeming inconsistency
From: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Message-Id: <95Jul13.132102pdt.2762@golden.parc.xerox.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 13:20:52 PDT

At INET'95 on a panel discussion, Christian Huitema made some strong
claims about the appropriateness of standardizing URN resolution. Even
though these were presumably personal opinions rather than official
ones (he is the chair of the Internet Architecture Board), I thought
it would be useful to have his perspective available as we discuss the
WG charter, and asked him to repeat his (brief) remarks as part of
that discussion.

================================================================
On the issue of internet drafts and documents etc;

I'm trying to optimize a goal. The goal is to progress
    as rapidly as possible
    to reach consensus
    on documents intended to become RFCs

I think that's why IETF has working groups.

Anyway, given that goal, the strategy is to encourage discussion
around documents, not just ideas. Single documents, not multiple ones.
If we don't have a document we're talking about, then it's hard to
make progress on "on documents intended to become RFCs". If we have
too many documents, it makes it hard "to reach consensus". It's fine
to talk about general principles and architecture, and consensus
on general principles and architecture is very useful if you're trying
to achieve consensus on RFCs, but it's not sufficient.

Now, I tried to manage this by avoiding putting discussions on the
IETF agenda if there wasn't a document for us to discuss. This was a
bit manipulative, and the result was unexpected: we now have too many
documents to discuss, and we need to converge (some of) them. I don't
mean to be setting up senseless bureaucratic rules. If you want to
write an Internet Draft I won't stop you. But...

I just want to make progress as rapidly as possible to reach consensus
on documents intended to become RFCs, and to do so without everyone
spending too much time writing or reading messages like this one that
only talk about process.