Thread Links Date Links
Thread Prev Thread Next Thread Index Date Prev Date Next Date Index

Re: Re: Membership on an 802.3ae Reflector

I second Howard's perspective, noting that it reflects the communication
characteristics of the IETF.


At 07:20 PM 2/8/00 -0800, Howard Frazier wrote:
>Here's my two cents on reflector membership vs attendance at meetings.
>For 802.3z, we had no such restriction.  Anybody who asked to
>be added to the reflector was added, with only two conditions:
>   1) You had to make the request on your own behalf.  I wouldn't
>      accept "proxy" requests.
>   2) You couldn't subscribe a reflector to the reflector.  I
>      needed to be able to add or delete individual addresses,
>      so each subscription was on an individual basis.
>The Rules of Engagement that I dictated as chair were otherwise similar 
>to what Jonathan has dictated for the newest incarnation of the HSSG.
>I can recall many instances where valuable input was received from
>individuals who did not attend any meetings, let alone on a regular
>basis.  These "outsiders" often brought a fresh point of view to
>the discussions by questioning the conventional wisdom.  This was
>beneficial.  Sometimes us standards weenies argue so loudly
>about the angel count that we miss the sound of the pin dropping.
>I even went so far as to further dictate that all subscribers to the
>email reflector were officially considered members of the Task Force
>as far as access to the drafts were concerned.  I sent the secret
>password that you needed to get the draft out on the reflector.
>There were also times when "outsiders" asked stupid questions or made
>particularly naive remarks.  Had they attended a meeting, they probably
>would have understood the obvious and kept quiet.  Usually, one or more
>of the members of the establishment would point out the error in the
>newbie's thinking, occasionally even using a civil tone of voice.  In
>a few cases, I had to personally intervene by contacting one or
>more of the flame warriors and offering them a clue.
>The old stds-802-3-hssg reflector had about 800 names on it.
>That's just about the same size as the current incarnation.  Meeting
>attendance is usually around 100 to 150, and there are new faces showing
>up, and old friends fading away at every meeting. People's interest
>in the project often exceeds their available time and budget for attending
>meetings.  There are also people who come to the meetings regularly, but
>do nothing more than sign the attendance book and drink coffee.
>Also, we already have voting procedures (at the WG level and the Sponsor
>level) where there are membership requirements.  This is necessary to bring 
>order to the balloting and comment process.  In the brainstorming/drafting/
>concensus building stage, we can benefit from hearing as many points of
>view as possible.  
>On balance, I have to disagree with a policy that ties reflector
>subscriptions to meeting attendance.  Openess is preferable.  We should
>perform our work with full illumination and participation.   Attendance
>at standards meetings isn't a guarantee of competence in standards
>related email discussions.
>Of course, any one who feels inclined to ignore the opinion of people who
>don't attend meetings is free to build an email filter that will screen
>out the messages from the disenfranchised.  A digital implementation of
>such a filter springs immediately to mind.  It consists of a finger,
>clicking a mouse on the DELETE button.
>Howard Frazier
>Cisco Systems, Inc.