[Servercert-wg] Document Versioning

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Tue Aug 20 11:08:56 MST 2019

On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 1:58 PM Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) <
dzacharo at harica.gr> wrote:

> I'm not so sure I understand what you are asking here. All I'm saying is
> that for all the versions of the BRs and EV Guidelines I have seen so far,
> it was the Chair's task to incorporate the "ballot language" into the
> latest Guifeline, update the two tables I mentioned, assign a new version
> number to the document, update the table of contents and publish it on the
> public web site. This is the precedent I am talking about. I don't know if
> this was an "approved" procedure by the Forum, but if it was it must have
> been from the very early days, before I joined the Forum. Perhaps Ben, Dean
> and Kirk (previous Chairs) can assist us here.

If you look back on the calls - and in the F2F discussion, including Greece
- you will hear and find discussion precisely about whether or not this is
allowed for the Chair to do. This has been brought up by Kirk, it has been
brought up by Ben, and it has been brought up by Dean in the past. There
has always been a concern with issue about making changes to ballots and
how to correct such issues.

We've even had issues where ballots have prescribed particular versions,
and then the Chair has unilaterally decided to change the version (and the
balloted text) to something different.

I am not suggesting we change anything in the discussion period. I am just
> saying that the ballot language should not propose a version number for the
> Final Maintenance Guideline. I have already provided arguments about the
> risk of allowing members to propose specific version numbers of the
> Guidelines. In addition, think about a case where we have ballots running
> in parallel. The Chair has been resolving these conflicts, making sure that
> ballots are incorporated in Final Maintenance Guidelines without versioning
> issues.

I'm certainly aware that issues can arise. However, with respect to ballots
running in parallel, our Bylaws provide specific guidance and requirement
as to how to resolve such conflicts, so it's not actually an issue, in

In any event, you can think of the Ballot SC22 as an example of an attempt
to strictly comply with our Bylaws. If we don't like the way that the
Ballot looks, then we should change our Bylaws. I've been wholly supportive
of such changes to offer flexibility as you wish. I've repeatedly
highlighted the concerns that can exist if folks try to do this too
generically, and thus suggested that the best text - which we'd be happy to
endorse if so developed - is one that allowed flexibility to the version
and the informative table. However, it's a bit unreasonable to also then
suggest that I'm the one who needs to draft that change to the Bylaws, if
folks don't like a Ballot that complies with them - which is why I'm
encouraging you to draft text to the Bylaws, which we'll happily discuss
for ways to improve.

> As you already said, it's best to disconnect the discussion about a ballot
> related to shortening the lifetime of certificates and other administrative
> issues like the versioning scheme.

Just to be clear: You're objecting to the Ballot, which complies with the
Bylaws, because you don't like that it tries to avoid a long-standing issue
in the Forum?
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