Re: Is the TAG structure harmful? [Was: Fwd: Forced Resignation]


I’m honestly surprised at the amount of bile you apparently hold towards me; I wish you’d brought it up earlier, to give me the chance to address it, rather than let it fester. I do see that you’ve managed to participate in some discussions on-list over the last four years, so it hasn’t been a total loss.

I do suspect that we’re going to have to agree to disagree, however, on what is appropriate and inappropriate participation style.


P.S. It’s not “my list”; it’s the community’s. I only do my best to maintain that community.

On 2 Jul 2014, at 9:34 pm, Eric J. Bowman <> wrote:

> Mark Nottingham wrote:
>> Ah, you probably mean this:
>>  <>
>> … which was in the context of a fairly nasty thread. I stand by what
>> I said then; you were distracting from the work, not helping, and you
>> were singled out because you ignored an explicitly warning. While
>> venting spleen may make you feel better, it’s not productive for the
>> work.
> I stand by my position, that what I was arguing against was distracting
> from the work, and your action was heavy-handed and against the spirit
> of RFC 3005. Your position seems to be that freelancers aren't allowed
> to object to browser vendors dominating the discussion in a disruptive,
> non-productive manner; for fear of being labeled disruptive and non-
> productive ourselves. Hence, "marginalized". You say "venting" I say
> "contributing an alternate POV" which was that there was nothing wrong
> with the status quo in how RFCs are written, in this case Content-
> Disposition, in omitting error recovery -- an architectural foible to
> say the least.
>> In particular, the thread started as:
>>  <>
>> … which was about creating an optional profile for some
>> implementations to use.
> You also said:
> "To help figure out if this is a productive way to go, I'd like to hear:
> a) thoughts from folks about this approach"
> Which is exactly what you got from me, unvarnished, as is my way. There
> is no technical counter-argument for silent error correction, at lest
> not since I've been alive. That position comes down to "what's best for
> browsers", thus derailing any thread into the politics of browser
> vendors rather than architecture. <sarcasm>You're right, my fault
> entirely!</sarcasm>
> My ad-hominem opinion is that those espousing such a POV wouldn't if
> they didn't work for browser vendors. But that would violate list
> guidelines, which is why I never said any such thing -- your reaction
> would have been justified if I had, but I didn't resort to such ad-
> hominems and reject your classification of my remarks as if I had.
>> Your first interjection was:
>> <>
>> … which linked to:
>> <>
>> … and had the eventual effect of completely de-railing a reasonable
>> discussion.
> I linked to Michael's post because it expressed sentiments I knew
> weren't copacetic to expressing directly on ietf-http-wg. Didn't realize
> linking to same, was a foul. I still don't believe my comments were
> in violation of RFC 3005 or your request for thoughts about the
> approach. Which you may have found controversial, but hardly rises to
> the level of consequence you bestowed on me -- which only served to
> keep me off the list for 4 years as a result, giving my feedback
> directly to the authors without the benefit of on-list discussion.
> Speaking of what's not productive for the work...
>> There were absolutely ways you could express your technical
>> objections in that discussion without smearing people’s motives. In
>> fact, we resolved not to create a browser-specific profile for C-D
>> parsing, which appears to have been the outcome you desired.
> Wow, 180* the opposite of what I was saying. The outcome I desired was
> a continuation of the status-quo of RFCs vs. "living standards" which
> mean nothing beyond any particular implementation -- an inherently
> political, not technical, argument as I still see it. Is it really
> "unprofessional" to question others' motives when they're acting as a
> cabal in a WG? That's an invitation for cabals to take over WGs, IMO.
> We'll just have to agree to disagree, and I'll just have to return to
> being silent about HTTP evolution on your list as we have irreconcilable
> philosophical differences about what constitutes "disruptive" behavior.
>>> It's what I mean when I say that non-corporate-types are
>>> marginalized on ietf-http-wg, which has led to further warnings
>>> like the link you referenced -- continuation of a pattern favoring
>>> corporate takeover, leading to my continued disinterest. It just
>>> doesn't matter to me, as I believe architecture will out in the
>>> long term, and I've never had a problem with saying "told ya so"
>>> which I believe will be the case with HTTP/2 adoption as well.
>> We’ve had several “non-corporate types” (if I understand what you
>> mean by that phrase; it’s perilously close to dog whistling)
>> participate actively, be welcomed to the effort, and make substantial
>> contributions, so I reject that characterisation. What matters is the
>> quality of your ideas, and the attitude you bring to the work.
> And I've witnessed plenty of those folks defer to what the big vendors
> want, as they'll have to cater to it for their clients. As to the
> quality of my ideas and the attitude I bring, well, I've always said I
> don't have a crystal ball when it comes to e-mails folks write, another
> area where you and I will just have to agree to disagree, apparently.
>>>>> But, I must strenuously disagree -- the last thing I trust
>>>>> is that contributors here will put the interests of the Web ahead
>>>>> of the interests of those cutting their paychecks.
>>>> I find that a bit sad, but OK...
>>> I find it sad, too. But that doesn't mean I fail to recognize
>>> reality.
>>>>> Otherwise, architectural concerns wouldn't be scoffed at as they
>>>>> are. But, as you've made quite clear to me, bringing up these
>>>>> concerns will get me banned as they're political, not technical,
>>>>> in nature. But I think that's what HTTP/2 is all about, so I'd
>>>>> best shut the **** up about it.
>>>> OK. I'm not sure what's causing the vitriol here, but I apologise
>>>> if I've contributed to it. I don't believe I ever said you'd be
>>>> banned for contributing; I'm only try to maintain a professional
>>>> environment that focuses on data and outcomes, not ad hominems
>>>> (which dismissing someone's viewpoint because it's "corporate" is).
>>> Well, the corporate folks objection to my postion constituted, in my
>>> opinion, ad-hominems against my architectural arguments, which is
>>> why your warning continues to rankle as I was only defending my
>>> position,
>> I warned several people privately; there was more than one bad
>> attitude on display then. You were warned publicly because you chose
>> to ignores the private warning.
> No, I chose to disagree with your decision to give me any warning for
> stating a perfectly rational viewpoint held by more Web developers than
> just me -- you'd just rather not hear that input on ietf-http-wg, which
> puts the big corporations at a distinct advantage where protocol
> development is concerned. Nothing since has served to change my mind.
>>> political as it may have seemed -- but again, that's the reality of
>>> HTTP/2 development as I see it, the winning arguments have more to
>>> do with corporate bottom-line interests than they do architecture;
>>> where else should I discuss that issue? Down the block from the
>>> abortion clinic? ;-)
>>> Let's just say that your definition of "ad hominem" and mine,
>>> differ. I feel I raise legitimate concerns, or I wouldn't post
>>> them, regardless of whether they're political or technical in
>>> nature. My challenge remains, give me a technical basis for some of
>>> the decisions made?
>>> You say I should not mention the political reasons, but again, when
>>> the decisions run contrary to what's best for Web architecture for
>>> no valid technical reason, what recourse do I have but to call them
>>> out for being political in nature, whether you like it or not?
>> The work inevitably involves political issues. There’s a difference
>> between working through them — e.g., identifying the stakeholders,
>> balancing the concerns, trying to find shared ground — and smearing
>> your opposition. 
> So you say. I say I should be allowed to have an opinion that browser
> vendors' insistence upon error correction is architecturally incorrect,
> as I've certainly proven my bona-fides where Web architecture is
> concerned... you say that's "smearing my opposition" which is only your
> opinion, and only serves to shut down that POV in subsequent discussion.
> Until you can explain why that's not a legitimate POV in technical
> terms, I'll continue to consider your management of ietf-http-wg heavy-
> handed and pro-corporate.
> -Eric

Mark Nottingham

Received on Wednesday, 2 July 2014 11:42:21 UTC