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RE: [802SEC] +++ SEC EMAIL BALLOT +++ Motion: 802.16a to Sponsor Ballot


I have not yet reviewed the package yet to generate my vote but I am troubled by what is going on. My detailed comments are mixed in below.


At 05:22 PM 4/9/02 -0600, Roger B. Marks wrote:

I vote Approve on this motion.

While I understand Pat's concerns, I would also like to address her comments.

I would note here that Pat has served on REVCOM, she knows of what she speaks.

*TBDs: Yes, there are a few TBDs in the document. This is less than ideal. However, there is nothing in the 802 or IEEE-SA rules on this issue. Obviously, we are not going to send a document to RevCom with TBDs. When the Working Group turns a document over to a Sponsor Ballot group, it willingly gives up some of its control to another group. The Working Group has judged that the Sponsor Ballot Group is capable of resolving these minor TBDs and has trusted them to do so. I believe they have that right.

You say that "Obviously, we are not going to send a document to RevCom with TBDs".
I say that you shouldn't go to Sponsor Ballot with a document that you aren't willing to stand behind being published as a Standard. There are several reasons for this:

1) Pride. A quality 802 Working Group shouldn't present unfinished work to the outside world (and that is what Sponsor Ballot is) as their product. It looks shoddy.

2) Discipline. It is my belief that a document shouldn't even go to Working Group Ballot with TBDs
From 802.3 Operating Rules
2.8.2 Draft Standard Balloting Requirements
Before a draft is submitted to WG letter ballot it shall in addition have met the following requirements:
a) It must be complete with no open technical issues.
b) It must be made available for pre-view by the membership by the Monday prior to the plenary week. If any changes are made to the draft after the draft was made available for pre-view the textual changes shall be presented for review during the closing plenary immediately prior to the vote for approval to go to WG ballot.
c) It must be formatted according to the IEEE style selected by the WG Chair. This style will be selected to minimize the editorial work required for publication of the draft.
The way we do quality standards is to get the work done in an early, orderly fashion. The balloting process should not be used as a period in which to get more work done. The process should be event driven, not schedule driven. The actual process steps don't take very long when the draft is clean and the process is managed. The balloting process will introduce its own set of surprises. You should have your own business taken care of before you take balloting on.
3) Risk. You might get approved and published in the form presented. If you don't get a comment on something then you have no business changing it. In particular the following text from the IEEE-SA Operations Manual should be well known to the Working Group AND be considered to be SCARY:
However, once 75% approval has been achieved, the IEEE has an obligation to the majority to review and publish the standard quickly. Therefore, once 75% approval has
been achieved, the IEEE requirements for consensus have been met. Efforts to resolve negative votes may continue for a brief period; however, should such resolution not be possible in a timely manner, the Sponsor should forward the submittal to RevCom.

*Dismissive rebuttals: Out of the 12 Disapprove comments (and out of the 1178 comments resolved in the Working Group Letter Ballot), I can see two for which a stronger rebuttal might be called for. I wish we had none. However, all of these Disapprove comments were recirculated (all but two were recirculated twice). Once again, the analogy to a RevCom application is less than exact. 802.16 is not asking the SEC to approve a standard; it is asking the SEC to initiate a ballot.
It is precisely the job of the SEC to audit the process for Working Group Ballot in much the same way that REVCOM audits the process for Sponsor Ballot. To that end, an 802 package much to the embarrassment of several folks including me was bounced at REVCOM for inappropriate responses. I reject Roger's position on this.

In the last Working Group recirc, we had 8 new Approves and no new Disapproves. We also had no comments. The Working Group has clearly spoken, by a vote of 99-5. I can understand the role of perfectionism in approving a standard. However, it shouldn't apply to holding a ballot.


P.S. Finally, should the SEC members care to consider the cost/benefit relationship of this decision, I'd like to mention that, because of our scheduling situation,

As I said above, I believe that our process should be event driven, not schedule driven. Yielding completeness to a schedule that was developed before the problem was well known produces poor work. While it is certainly true that a schedule is an extremely effect tool to move a group forward and keep their eye on the goal, I do not believe that you can schedule consensus.

the failure of this SEC motion would have serious scheduling implications. Even if could open the Sponsor Ballot before our May interim meeting, we wouldn't have it closed in time to resolve comments. The resulting delay would be at least two months; possibly four.

I've read through the disapprove comments and I have two concerns:

1) TBD's - normally we forward to sponsor ballot a document should be
complete which means that it shouldn't have any TBD's. Starting sponsor
ballot has been equated to lighting a solid fuel booster rocket. It can be
hard to abort the process once one has gotten to that point. It is the final
review phase. If the TBDs are in an informative part of the standard such
that even if they are never filled in it would be okay to publish then maybe
it is acceptable to go to sponsor ballot with them in place. If the TBDs are
normative then they need to be filled in before starting sponsor ballot
(which implies another Working Group recirculation).

2) Dismissive unresponsive responses to disapprove comments. A number of the
comment responses don't appear to seriously respond to the comment. To the
uninitiated reader they read like brushoffs. Look, for example, at the
comments concerned about the number of alternative physical layers. A
response to a comment such as this should include brief justification of why
the alternatives have been included. Similarly the responses to requests
that material be added to guide one in selecting between the PHY
alternatives. Note that the under Distinct Identity of the Five Criteria on
requirement is: "Easy for the document reader to select the relevant
specification." so it is a reasonable request that should have gotten a more
serious response.

If sponsor ballot comments end up going to RevCom with similar responses
then there is a good chance that the submission won't get approved. Comment
responses to unresolved disapprove comments should be written such that they
justify the working group response to an outsider. That is who will be
reviewing them to audit that the working group did its job.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Nikolich []
Sent: Friday, April 05, 2002 6:06 AM
To: 'IEEE802'
Subject: [802SEC] +++ SEC EMAIL BALLOT +++ Motion: 802.16a to Sponsor

Dear SEC,

This is an SEC email ballot on making a determination on the below SEC
motion to forward IEEEE P802.16a/d2 to LMSC Sponsor Ballot, moved by Roger
Marks, seconded by Bob Heile.

The email ballot opens on Friday April 5 9AM EST and closes Friday April 12
noon EDT.

Please direct your responses to the SEC reflector.



-----Original Message-----
From: Roger B. Marks []
Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2002 7:47 PM
Subject: Motion: 802.16a to Sponsor Ballot


I would like to make the following IEEE 802 LMSC Motion:
"To forward IEEE P802.16a/D3 to LMSC Sponsor Ballot"
        Motion by:   Roger Marks
        Seconded by: Robert Heile

Full backup material, including details of all 12 Disapprove comments:


*IEEE 802.16 Letter Ballot #4 (including Recirc #4a and Confirm #4b)
"To forward IEEE P802.16a for IEEE Sponsor Ballot"

Dates: 2001-11-30 to 2002-04-04
Final results: Approve              99 (95%)
                Disapprove            5
                Abstain              18
                Return Ratio         122/178 = 69%
                Disapprove Comments  12
Final voting report:
Disapprove comments:
(all were recirculated)

Results of final recirculation (Confirmation Ballot #4b):
                New Disapproves  0
                Comments         0

*IEEE 802.16 Authorizing Motion
802.16 Session #18 Closing Plenary (15 March 2002)
Motion: "To authorize a confirmation ballot of P802.16a/D3 and
forward it for LMSC Sponsor Ballot pending successful confirmation
Motion by:   Brian Kiernan, for Task Group a
Seconded by: (none needed)
Approve:     32
Disapprove:   1
Abstain:      2

Other documentation:
    Confirmation Ballot #4b announcement:
    final comment Resolution database:
        <> [PDF format]
        <> [database format]
    draft (P802.16a/D3):
         (username and password upon request)

I would like to urge that the ballot be concluded by noon ET on April
12 in order to accommodate our tight schedule situation (namely, so
that we can get the ballot closed before our interim meeting).

Please let me know if I can provide any more information.