[Foundation] Re: [Council] Extension Proposals

David Sutton dsutton at legend.co.uk
Tue Oct 28 16:31:44 CST 2003

Hi Ben,

  Reply inline..

On Tue, 2003-10-28 at 13:18, Ben Schumacher wrote:
> As there seems to be some confusion (and some animosity) surrounding my
> earlier post, I've decided to forward this message to the list, which is
> my response to Paul, clarifying my position (and I do apologize for the
> wording in the original post, it was shot off quickly at a point when I
> realize I had insufficient information). It begins:
> > Look... the point is, if this is really intended to be an open
> > discussion amongst members, then it should be posted about on the
> > members list. I don't read council. I don't, generally, care about the
> > goings on of the council mailing list, as I imagine that when they've
> > come up with something they're prepared to present to the membership,
> > then they'll do that... (and frankly, I don't have time for another
> > mailing list)... besides, it mostly seems to consist of discussing
> > technical nit-picks that are nothing more than rehashes of what's
> > already been discussed on standards-jig. It does, however, bother me
> > when people seem to be moving away from formats of communications that
> > are open and transparent... it reminds me of O'Reilly's "No Spin
> > Zone"-- which is nothing more than a playing field over which he has
> > complete control, and as such, he gets away with censoring and
> > attacking people, without giving them the opportunity to defend
> > themselves. Moving the JSF (and discussions related to the JSF) into
> > an  environment where one person is able to exercise complete control
> > over  ideas is not productive... and there is a long history of folks
> > trying  to do just that. While there is a ton of fluff on mailing
> > lists, there  is, also, a ton of important and useful things... as
> > the song goes,  "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them
> > both, and there you  have... the facts of life."
> And in response to Paul's later emails on the same issue.
> 1) List admins may have some control, but since these lists are
> unmoderated, it seems startlingly unlikely that anybody could stop a post
> that was intended to be delivered to the membership, at-large, without at
> least one person seeing it. As I understand the H2O system, responses are
> hidden from view until a "round" is over. It would be, I imagine, a simple
> matter for somebody with control over the system to modify or remove a
> reponse from the system, and leave the other parties involved (with the
> exception of the person who sent the message and the person who
> altered/removed it) unaware. I am in no way implying that this is
> something you would do, but I do think it is a risk when we move from the
> transparent system of mailing lists we currently use to discuss such
> matters.
The problem with this argument is that it can be applied to the mailing
lists as well. There is nothing to stop someone switching over to a
silent moderation, and checking every post before it is made. I'm not
saying that it has or ever would, only that it could.

If you boil away all the excess, it comes down to a question of trust.
Having seen how mailing list discussions have gone in the past, I am
interested to see how the h2o model will work. Having to take time to
work on an answer is a benefit in my mind, so that answers are likely to
be more measured and less of a snap decision. Is it a 'be all and end
all' solution? No, but it will help to clarify the points being made, so
there is less confusion when the result is discussed as a whole.

> 2) Something that so radically changes the meaning of JEP's, their goal,
> etc, seems like it should be discussed with the membership, at-large. As I
> understand the organization of the JSF, the council is supposed to be a
> body that guides the technical standards. I do not, personally, believe
> that renaming, recategorizing, or significantly changing the process under
> which JEP's are accept falls under the realm of technical guidance
> although, undoubtably, people will disagree with me on this particular
> point.
I think there are some more fundamental questions that need to be
addressed first. We need clear and precise definitions of what each of
the commonly used terms, such as 'Jabber' and 'XMPP' are, and the
relationships between them. The IETF and XMPP developments are possibly
changing the very environment that we are working and developing in, and
a review of where we are now and where we want to be going is a need in
my eyes.

In XML, we have namespaces to define the 'language' so all sides know
what it is that they are talking about. We need the equivalent in these
kind of discussions - define then discuss.



> Cheers,
> bs.
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