Considerations for Having a Successful "Bar BOF" Side Meeting, October 2012
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- L. Eggert
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New work is typically brought to the IETF by a group of interested individuals. IETF meetings are a convenient place for such groups to hold informal get-togethers to discuss and develop their ideas. Such side meetings, which are not reflected in the IETF meeting agenda and have no official status, are often half-jokingly referred to as "bar BOF" sessions to acknowledge that some of them may eventually lead to a proposal for an official IETF BOF ("birds of a feather" session) on a given topic. During recent IETF meetings, many such "bar BOF" get-togethers have been organized and moderated in ways that made them increasingly indistinguishable from official IETF BOFs or sometimes even IETF working group meetings. This document argues that this recent trend is not helpful in reaching the ultimate goal of many of these get-togethers, i.e., to efficiently discuss and develop ideas for new IETF work. It encourages the organizers to consider the benefits of holding them in much less formal settings and to also consider alternative means to develop their ideas. This document also recommends that the community abandon the term "bar BOF" and instead use other terms such as "side meeting", in order to stress the unofficial nature of these get-togethers. This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is published for informational purposes.
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