[cabfpub] F2F topic proposal - future thoughts

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Fri Feb 10 05:13:54 UTC 2017

On Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 8:41 PM, Peter Bowen via Public <public at cabforum.org>

> I would like a propose a topic for the F2F: future thoughts.  The concept
> is to discuss where members may want to see WebPKI go over the next few
> years.  Given the possible sensitivities, I propose we use a slightly
> unique discussion process.
> Starting at the beginning of the F2F, we have note cards and a closed drop
> box.  Anyone can add ideas or topics and drop it into the box — no name
> needed.  At the beginning of the session the box is opened and passed
> around the room.  Each person draws one card and reads it aloud.  The
> topics are all recorded and grouped.  Then we discuss them, either in
> groups or as a whole.
> I am proposing this because we have seen a number of references to past
> meetings where apparently someone said something that was not widely
> understood to be a future plan.  Rather than have something mentioned in
> passing, I would prefer to have concepts clearly presented and highlighted
> so both CAs and Browsers can go home after the meeting and think about
> them.  By using the card approach it masks who is suggesting what,
> hopefully allowing a freer set of thoughts.
> Do others think this would be valuable?

I think that it sounds quite useful.

However, one minor note, it's unclear how you might propose to capture
sufficient information so it's ambiguous as to who suggested it - that is,
achieving the property the card introduces, of masking who suggests what.

I ask because in groups I've seen sort of "card based" approaches uses,
usually there's a non-trivial amount of cards that are ambiguous, and thus
few know how to parse, or the person reading the card (... or hearing it)
misinterprets. Both cause the suggester to need to either speak up to
correct or to accept the alternatively factual interpretation as the new

That's not to say I don't see merit in such a card-based approach; it can
make for wonderfully useful clustering and organizing of ideas, and to
highlight patterns of thought if a number of members contribute, I'm mostly
just questioning whether anonymity is a property we can reasonably expect,
especially if a member might share their understanding of the card,
summarizing it, but doing so inaccurately.
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