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Re: [wg-d] WG Principles
> > Being the only person on this mailing list who has been a chairman of an
> > IETF working group
> this is clearly a false assumption. <nasty grin>
(Your name wasn't there last time I saw the list. Good that you are here.)
The main point about IETF Working Groups is that they are considered
highly authoritative. Once there work is published, it marches down the
standards track, subject really only to time and implementation
experience. The word "track" is indicative of the process .. a WG's work
is presumptively valid unless derailed.
Sure, the IESG members occassionally look at issues in a working group
draft, and that look varies depending on the person. But the IETF has no
mechanism through which the body as a whole reviews the working group
output and accepts/rejects/modifies it.
Soft policy, as we have here, requires that working groups be merely a
source of formulations of ideas. But unlike the IETF, we ought not to
allow the working group to be effectively the final arbiter of those
ideas, but rather require that those ideas be deeply reviewed and subject
to full acceptance by larger bodies.
In other words, we ought to reverse the presumptions from the IETF's
presumption that WG output will result in a standard if not shown
erroneous to a presumption the WG output is merely a topic for the GA
consider, amend, or reject as the GA sees fit.
> > IETF working groups are the primary vehicle of IETF work, they are not
> > subordinate to the IESG or the IAB.
> the latter is not precisely true. the iesg tries to keep garbage from
> floating to the top, and has means to do so. it tries to exercise them with
> taste and restraint.
The IESG merely has the power to block, not the ability to rewrite.
In our situation, we want the larger body (the general assembly) to be
able to adopt in whole, revise to its heart's content, or reject in whole.
> > and are never settled absent implementation experience.
> we wish it was like this. it's more like implementation experience is
> perceived as very desirable and is taken very seriously when available.
Unlike the IETF, we don't have any means of having multiple
"implementations" of a policy and seeing how it works in practice. As a
result we have to talk a lot more and have multiple levels of acceptance
of an idea.
(While the IETF guidelines do mandate implementations, it is true that
we've technically been lax on that point.)
> > The IETF working group model is fine for relatively focused technical
> > matters among people with relatively well aligned mindsets and goals.
> you're kidding, right?
Not really. The IETF model only works among folks who are starting from
the same place, going to the same place, and have similar ways of
assessing good and bad. That model is starting to crumble because the
IETF is now becoming more diverse.
And if nothing else, we have massive diversity of opinion in domain name
policy, well beyond what an IETF working group could accomodate.