APPEAL AGAINST IESG INACTION ETC. BY WILLIAM ALLEN SIMPSON
23 October 1999
This is the final text of the response given verbally during the open plenary session of the 46th IETF.
The IAB has reviewed this appeal. We note that an appeal was made by Mr. Simpson covering the same general area and topics some months ago, that a public hearing was held on them at the previous (45th) IETF and that this appeal addresses some of the same issues. Plenary time is a scarce resource, and IAB and IESG time only slightly less so. The IAB is sensitive to the risk of denial of service attacks on the community by repeated appeals, and believes that second and subsequent members of a sequence of appeals should be held to a significantly higher standard of clarity and precision than an initial one might reasonably be.
Additionally we are not aware that this new appeal has been duly considered and rejected by the IESG prior to being brought to the IAB.
Consequently, the IAB has concluded that:
- Many of the issues raised were, as noted in the appeal text, addressed
in the appeal on which a hearing was held at the 45th IETF and a decision
announced by the IAB on 1 October 1999. The IAB will not review that decision
under the guise of a new appeal.
- Some of the issues raised apparently involve a claim that IESG failed
to move immediately (or quickly enough to suit Mr. Simpson) to make a
decision, or to adequately explain the decision, about documents covered
by the previous appeal. The times involved were actually very short (October
1 to 23, 1999). The IAB recognizes the many demands on the IESG’s schedule
in the last few weeks before an IETF meeting and the IESG’s need to respond
to overall community priorities, and will not second-guess the IESG’s
decisions about those priorities during that period. In addition, the
IESG has never been obligated to provide specific rewrites to documents
or otherwise to provide an essentially line-by-line explanation of its
objections to a document or reasons for its decisions. We do not believe
that it would be in the best interests of the community to try to force
the IESG to do so; in any event, a proposal for such a requirement should
be raised through procedural mechanisms, not via an appeal.
- The fraction of the appeal letter that appears to fall into the above
categories is sufficiently large that the IAB has been unable to identify
new issues of substance. Items 1 through 8 appear to be a rehash of items
dealt with in the previous appeal. Items 9 and 10 are ones that we expect
the IESG to deal with in a routine way and with routine priority.
- If there are in fact new issues of substance, it should be Mr. Simpson’s
responsibility to identify them. If the IAB attempted to determine what
new issues were actually being appealed, it would open itself and the
community up to yet another appeal on its conclusions. Consequently, we
are dismissing this latest appeal summarily. If there actually are issues
of substance that have not been previously addressed, we are willing to
examine them if we receive an appeal of well-defined, separate new matters
that have gone properly through the appeal sequence (i.e., have already
been addressed and rejected by area directors, the IETF chair, and the
IESG) and if that appeal addresses only those new and substantive issues.
- Brian Carpenter
January 11, 2000