At 8:58 AM +0200 6/15/07, Harald Alvestrand wrote:
>But I believe that in neither that page nor in RFC 3935 did we ever commit the
>fallacy of saying "one man, one vote".
>How the weight one gives to opinions is distributed varies, I believe - both
>from case to case and from person to person - but we've never committed the
>error of saying "all opinions are equal".
>We are very committed to "all opinions should be HEARD" (we do demand
>civility, but that is about form, not content), but we've never claimed to
>weigh them equally.
We have espoused "rough consensus and running code" as a credo for a long
time, though, and Thomas's most recent formulation (where one well-known
contributor is weighted over the opinions of five not-known contributors) does
not fit that rubric, at least in my opinion. It sounds like an organization
the old-dogs network runs things and can exclude input from anyone whose
opinion doesn't agree with theirs. Since one of the key values of the IETF
is openness, we have to be careful with giving that impression; as an open
organization where a newcomer is only free to agree with the old dogs isn't
I think part of the part of the problem here is that we're talking about
In a real working group, the chairs can tell who is actually reading the
producing text, and coding up implementations. They can weight based
on *participation*, in other words, in the chartered work of the group. In a
especially where some of the proposers are new participants or are referring
to needs outside the comfort zones of many of our participants, this is much
harder. The tendency to weight participation in the *IETF* higher than
familiarity with the work means, at least if I'm reading the tea leaves right,
that we will be turning away new participants as well as new work. Any one
of Thomas's five will likely look at the treatment received in that BoF and
to work elsewhere.
I think BoF reform along the lines Bernard has suggested might help solve that,
by creating a phase where participation in the *work* can be judged much as
it is in a chartered working group. After a "BoF period", the
can better judge who really is familiar with the area, who is working to
achieve the proposed work, and who will likely implement and deploy it; those
all deserve real weight in our process. That does not mean that those outside
the group cannot and should not be heard; intra-area review and cross-area
review are a key part of our value. But it allows us to value our new
as equals to our known contributors.
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