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Re: state-of-art SLs

    Date:        Mon, 28 Jul 2003 15:11:01 -0400 (EDT)
    From:        Scott  Bradner <sob@harvard.edu>
    Message-ID:  <200307281911.h6SJB15T003911@newdev.harvard.edu>

  | humm - it is not all that often that we have said that 2/3 is rough 
  | consensus in the IETF

Well said.

In another place, not all that far away, at another time, also not
all that far away, where there was an issue that was dividing the
working group concerned, and where there was a search for a consensus,
the chair (very wisely, and correctly, IMNSHO) eventually said...

| The FOO_BAR issue has to some extent polarized the working group into folks
| that are "for" FOO_BAR and folks that are "against" FOO_BAR.  
| Fortunately, the polarization is not strong and for the most part amicable.
| But ultimately, this polarization puts the WG chairs in a nearly impossible
| situation.

| Consensus doesn't mean majority rule, nor even super majority, in fact, any
| sense of voting is undesirable.  The fact that we have folks supporting or
| not supporting FOO_BAR is a symptom that I think we've lost the way to
| consensus.

The decision was, that even though there were more people supporting
a proposed change to an existing spec (actually in this case, just an
existing I-D that had not gone as far as RFC publication, and hence
"IETF as a whole" approval) than were opposed to it, there was no consensus
to make the change, and the change was not made.

That's what should be the position in this WG as well.

At the minute however, it really doesn't matter much, as nothing has
actually been done (Brian claims that eventually a draft will appear,
which I expect will then get debated).   Working groups claiming to
have made a decision (even when the WG actually has made a decision)
means just about nothing to the IETF process overall.   Only publication
of RFCs after IETF consensus after IETF last call achieves that.


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