Stay Home Meet Only Online (shmoo) Proposed WG

WG Name Stay Home Meet Only Online
Acronym shmoo
Area General Area (gen)
State Proposed
Charter charter-ietf-shmoo-00-02 External Review (Message to Community, Selected by Secretariat)
Dependencies Document dependency graph (SVG)
Personnel Chairs Amelia Andersdotter 
Suresh Krishnan 
Area Director Alissa Cooper 
Mailing list Address manycouches@ietf.org
To subscribe https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/manycouches
Archive https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/manycouches/
Jabber chat Room address xmpp:shmoo@jabber.ietf.org?join
Logs https://jabber.ietf.org/logs/shmoo/

Charter for proposed Working Group

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the IETF's typical schedule of three
in-person meetings per year. It has caused the IETF to have to convert
previously scheduled in-person meetings into fully online meetings. Although
it is the first time the IETF's meeting schedule has been disrupted, it is
possible that other crises could cause similar disruptions in the future.
Even in the absence of the pandemic, discussions about the possibility of
fully online meetings had been occurring in the IETF community for years as a
result of general increases in remote attendance, improvements in web
conferencing services, concerns about the environmental impact of travel, and
other reasons.

The meeting planning activities that the IESG and the IETF LLC engage in
would benefit from IETF community consensus guidance concerning novel aspects
raised by these developments. The SHMOO working group is therefore chartered
to document high-level guidance and principles to the IESG and the IETF LLC.
The guidance and principles will concern the following:

- Determinations of when a previously scheduled in-person meeting should be
canceled and replaced with a fully online meeting. Similar to how RFC 8718
establishes community principles and guidance for the selection of meeting
venues, the IESG and the LLC would benefit from community consensus
guidelines about which factors to consider when deciding to cancel or replace
an in-person meeting and the relative importance of those factors. This work
item is expected to be fulfilled with the publication of a BCP.

- Meeting planning in the event that a previously scheduled in-person meeting
needs to be canceled and replaced with a fully online meeting. Similar to how
RFC 8719 establishes guidance for the regional rotation of in-person
meetings, the IESG and the LLC would benefit from having community consensus
guidelines about the time zone selection, meeting length in days, and other
high-level scheduling aspects when an in-person meeting must be canceled.
This work item is expected to be fulfilled with the publication of one or
more BCPs.

- Functional requirements for the technologies the IETF uses to support fully
online meetings. This work item is expected to be fulfilled with one or more
informational RFCs.

- Determinations about the meeting fee for fully online meetings. Since
remote participation in in-person meetings has historically been at zero cost
to participants, LLC and IESG decisions about meeting fees for fully online
meetings need to be informed by community consensus guidelines about whether
and how to set a registration fee for fully online meetings. This work item
is expected to be fulfilled with the publication of one or more informational
RFCs. Suggestions for changing the IETF's overall funding model are out of
scope.

- The cadence of meeting scheduling and the mix of in-person versus fully
online meetings going forward once the disruptions caused by the pandemic
have subsided. The working group is expected to document the expected future
meeting cadence as a BCP if consensus emerges to depart from the existing
cadence of three in-person meetings per year. Notably, any such guidance will
not become actionable until 3-4 years after it achieves consensus, given the
length of the IETF meeting planning cycle. The working group will not
progress this work item until it has requested publication for all of its
meeting cancellation-related work items.

The work of SHMOO is expected to produce high-level principles, not detailed
operational plans. Specifications of details concerning cancellation
criteria, meeting technologies, and online meeting agenda formats and content
are out of scope. Aside from the fourth work item above, discussion of
financial aspects of IETF meetings and changes to RFC 8713 are both out of
scope. The goal is to produce guidelines for the IESG and the IETF LLC to
operationalize while ensuring they have substantial flexibility to continue
to deliver and evolve the IETF meeting experience to best serve IETF
participants and the Internet community at large.

The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may have been mitigated by
the time this group completes its work, but the experience of handling
meeting planning during the pandemic has proven that having community
consensus guidance at hand when dealing with novel conditions in the future
would be beneficial.