[Servercert-wg] Document Versioning

Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) dzacharo at harica.gr
Wed Aug 21 05:40:53 MST 2019

On 20/8/2019 10:46 μ.μ., Ryan Sleevi wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 3:39 PM Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) 
> <dzacharo at harica.gr <mailto:dzacharo at harica.gr>> wrote:
>     Sure. It arbitrarily changes an existing pattern.
> I wouldn't say "Trying to follow the Bylaws" is arbitrary.
>     Both the BRs and the EV Guidelines have a certain pattern which is
>     being followed. I would expect that the next BRs have version
>     1.6.6 and the next EV Guidelines have 1.7.1. Instead, the ballot,
>     as proposed in the red-line, moves all versions to "1.8". I think
>     this might create confusion to the consumers of the Guidelines,
>     wondering where the "other versions" went.
> We've skipped versions before.

That was a very long time ago and I wasn't in the Forum to know how and 
why the numbering changed (it seems that the BRs changed to 1.3.0 when 
they moved to RFC 3647 format), but it's been consistent since 16 April 

>     The risk I am trying to avoid is a possible future ballot (again,
>     fully compatible with our Bylaws) that proposes -for example-
>     version "100". I believe ballot SC22, as written, will set a bad
>     precedent setting the version of the Guideline, and I would like
>     to avoid that if possible.
> I agree. And that's why it's important to change the Bylaws if you'd 
> like to prevent that.

Does this mean that until our Bylaws take care of this issue (and 
similar issues), every ballot author can propose numbers they like? Does 
this seem reasonable and acceptable behavior? It seems that you are 
challenging the system and I don't think the system has been built as 
robust as we would like it to be in order to protect against these cases.

At least one more member has objected to your attempt to set a version 
number as a ballot author. I'd like to see other members position 
themselves in favor or not.

It would be very strange to see you risk the voting outcome of this 
ballot by insisting to set the version number. We have been doing great 
all these years without a problem with the versions.

>>     Again, we're in agreement that the Forum Bylaws can be amended to
>>     allow flexibility in areas that the Chartered Working Group
>>     designates. That work has not been done, however, and is not
>>     permitted by our Bylaws today, so it's unclear if you're
>>     suggesting that you believe it better that we disregard our
>>     Bylaws until "someone" (unclear who) proposes changes to the
>>     Bylaws. With Ballot SC22, I am trying to follow our Bylaws, as
>>     written, unless and until someone who feels strongly against that
>>     - e.g. because they believe it might mess up the versioning
>>     (despite our Bylaws including provisions to prevent that)
>>     proposes changes our Bylaws.
>     The Bylaws are silent about the versions of Guidelines so I am not
>     certain about which provisions you are referring to. I assume you
>     mean the provisions for parallel ballots but that doesn't prevent
>     a proposer to pick any number for a Guideline.
> The version of the Guidelines are *part of* the Guidelines. For better 
> or worse, the Guidelines have their version baked into the document. 
> If they weren't part of the document - and say, just part of a link to 
> the document - the Chair would certainly have that discretion. But 
> we're talking about actual text within the Final Guidelines or Final 
> Maintenance Guidelines, and the only way recognized by our Bylaws to 
> change that is through a Ballot.
> You're absolutely correct that it doesn't prevent the proposer from 
> picking any number. Nothing in our Bylaws prevents that, short of 
> voting for or against a Ballot. But the only way our Bylaws recognize 
> to change the text of our Guidelines is through a Ballot.

I believe your line of thinking will introduce a lot of problems to the 
Forum if members were trying to find things that are not "regulated" in 
the Bylaws and use creative interpretations or ways to "abuse" certain 
procedures (I am not saying that you are doing that but if the author 
can set the ballot number, others might try similar things). One could 
also propose ballots with food labels, claim that the ToC is not part of 
the Guidelines, etc. Even if some procedures are not described in the 
Bylaws, there is a certain flexibility that has been working fine until 
now. If you believe that a Chair has done something wrong with setting a 
wrong version number or similar, we could discuss further.


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