[Servercert-wg] Document Versioning

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Wed Aug 21 06:28:17 MST 2019

On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 8:41 AM Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) <
dzacharo at harica.gr> wrote:

> 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.

Let me make sure I understand and state it clearly:

The Chair of the Forum is objecting to a process which follows the Bylaws,
because it removes their ability to do something not permitted by the
Bylaws. They are trying to drum up support for either allowing them to do
something not permitted by the Bylaws, or to insist it would be done the
way they would do it, if they didn't have to follow the Bylaws.

Is that correct?

I know that sounds very combative, but I want to emphasize here the
mountain you're making out of a molehill. You're objecting to following the
Bylaws. That is deeply troubling and concerning.

> 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.

I would absolutely be concerned with Chairs making up interpretations of
the Bylaws - and they absolutely have tried to do so, in the past. However,
to paint it as such is misleading - this is trying to follow a well-defined
Balloted process. If folks vote against this Ballot, on the basis of
version, they are very clearly supporting the notion that the Chair, and
any other member, should be able to ignore the Bylaws and make up whatever
interpretation they want. That would clearly be extremely harmful to the
productivity of the Forum.

The same logic being used here is the same logic that resulted in Ballots
180 - 183: namely, the Chair failing to follow the Bylaws. I'm trying to
avoid creating such a situation, and the Chair is pushing back on that,
because they'd rather not follow the Bylaws. That's a real problem.

Yes, the Forum can ballot anything. The Forum *should* be balloting more.
For example, if there are questions on membership, we should be seeking to
Ballot this. The ad-hoc approach, such as coming up with interpretations on
the phone for questions and trying to see if anyone disagrees, before even
writing it down or considering the implications of it, is worrying.

It seems your objection is on the basis that, as a Ballot, it directs the
Chair to do something the Chair doesn't want to do, and which they'd like
the freedom to do whatever they want. Again, I know that sounds incredibly
uncharitable, but I'm trying to separate the principle of your objection -
which appears to be opposed to Forum members balloting things - from the
actual numbering. I don't care that deeply about the numbering, and can
make changes prior to restarting a 7 day discussion period (i.e. for a few
more days), but I do deeply care deeply about the degree to which you're
objecting to following our Bylaws.
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