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Versions: (draft-saintandre-chatroom-relay) 00 01 02 03 04 05 RFC 7649

Network Working Group                                     P. Saint-Andre
Internet-Draft                                                      &yet
Intended status: Informational                                   D. York
Expires: August 22, 2015                                Internet Society
                                                       February 18, 2015

                The Jabber Scribe Role at IETF Meetings


   During IETF meetings, individual volunteers often help sessions run
   more smoothly by relaying information back and forth between the
   physical meeting room and an associated textual chatroom.  Such
   volunteers, commonly called "Jabber scribes", might benefit from the
   suggestions provided in this document.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on August 22, 2015.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
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   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of

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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Know Your Users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   3.  Primary Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   4.  Additional Tasks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   5.  Suggestions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     5.1.  Before the Session  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     5.2.  As the Session Is Starting  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     5.3.  During the Session  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   6.  Reporting Problems  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   8.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   9.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8

1.  Introduction

   During IETF meetings, individual volunteers often help sessions run
   more smoothly by relaying information back and forth between the
   physical meeting room and an associated textual chatroom.  Because
   these chatrooms are currently implemented using Jabber/XMPP
   technologies (see [RFC6120] and [XEP-0045]) the role is commonly
   referred to as that of a "Jabber scribe".

   This role is important because it is the primary way for a remote
   attendee to provide feedback or comments back into most IETF meeting
   sessions.  Although there are multiple ways that a remote attendee
   can listen and follow along, the chatroom provides a method of
   returning feedback to the physical meeting in something close to real
   time.  These methods hold true for IETF working group sessions, IRTF
   research group sessions, IETF "birds of a feather" (BoF) sessions,
   and similar sessions at IETF meetings.

   This document provides suggestions for fulfilling the role of a
   Jabber scribe, based on the authors' personal experience as well as
   input from other individuals who frequently volunteer as Jabber

2.  Know Your Users

   The participants in a chatroom typically fall into three categories,
   labelled here for ease of understanding:

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   o  Remote Participants

      Remote attendees who are listening to the audio stream or in some
      cases following the proceedings using a real-collaboration system
      (currently exemplified by the Meetecho service).  These
      participants might wish to send questions or feedback to the
      physical room.

   o  Observers

      IETF meeting attendees who are in another simultaneous session in
      a different physical room.  These participants often monitor the
      chatroom to find out when a particular topic is being discussed or
      to observe what is being discussed in the chatroom.  Typically
      they are not able to listen to the audio stream and sometimes they
      ask for a higher level of commentary so that they can know when
      they might need to change locations to participate in the
      session's physical room.

   o  Local Participants

      IETF meeting attendees who are in the same physical room.
      Sometimes these participants like to follow the discussions in the
      physical room and the chatroom at the same time.  They can also
      provide some assistance to Jabber scribes.

   Because all chatroom sessions are logged during IETF meetings and the
   logs are publicly available, the logs can be a useful history of what
   occurs during a meeting.  For that reason any additional information
   that can be supplied to remote participants can be helpful.

3.  Primary Tasks

   Individuals who volunteer for the role of Jabber scribe usually
   complete the following tasks:

   o  Relay questions and comments from the chatroom to the physical
      room.  This typically involves going to the microphone to relay
      the comment from the remote participant.

   o  Count the number of chatroom participants who virtually "hum",
      raise their hands, volunteer to provide feedback on documents,
      etc., and feed that information back to the physical room.

   o  Relay information about hums and similar interactions from the
      physical room to the chatroom (preferably after receiving a
      "readout" from the session chairs).

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   It is the convention in most sessions that the Jabber scribe has the
   privilege to go to the front of the microphone line to relay
   information from remote participants.  Some Jabber scribes choose to
   exercise that privilege while others choose to wait in line along
   with the participants in the physical meeting rooom.

4.  Additional Tasks

   Additionally some Jabber scribes often complete the following tasks:

   o  Relay the names of people speaking in the physical room to the

   o  Relay the slide numbers or slide names to help chatroom
      participants follow along.

   o  Query remote participants about audio streaming quality, and relay
      such information to the session chairs.

   o  Relay to the chatroom participants any logistical or procedural
      issues related to the meeting (e.g., known technical glitches at
      the physical meeting or delays in starting the session).

   o  Provide links to the current set of slides and the document being
      discussed so that chatroom participants can easily follow along.

   Although Jabber scribes are not generally expected to transcribe the
   complete contents of conversations that happen the physical room to
   the chatroom, they sometimes relay the gist of such conversations,
   especially during ad-hoc discussions for which slides are not
   available.  (By prior arrangement between the session chairs and the
   Jabber scribe, more detailed scribing might be expected for
   particular sessions.)

5.  Suggestions

   Experience has shown that the following behaviors make it easier to
   act as a Jabber scribe.

5.1.  Before the Session

   If you have volunteered before the session:

   o  Coordinate with the chairs to ensure that remote participants have
      received information about where to find the meeting materials,
      agenda, audio stream, etc. (e.g., this information can be sent to
      a working group discussion list so that remote participants do not
      need to ask about it on entering the chatroom).

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   o  Coordinate with the chairs to see if they have any special
      expectations for the Jabber scribe (e.g., some chairs might want
      you to transcribe more detailed information about the session
      proceedings into the chatroom).

   o  Ask the session chairs whether it is acceptable for you to advance
      to the front of the microphone line with time-sensitive comments
      from remote participants.

5.2.  As the Session Is Starting

   As you are getting settled and ready for the meeting to start:

   o  Seat yourself near the microphone most likely to be used for
      discussions in the physical room, so that you can more easily
      capture the names of people who come to the microphone.  Typically
      this will be a seat near the end of a row or in some location
      where you can easily get up out of your seat to go to the

   o  It can be helpful to open several browser windows or tabs for:

      *  the agenda page for the session

      *  the materials page so that you can relay links to slides if
         necessary (at the time of this writing, URLs for materials
         related to IETF working groups are of the form "https://
         datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/<nn>/materials.html#<name>", where
         "nn" is the two-digit meeting number and "name" is the acronym
         for the working group)

      *  the documents page for the working group or research group (or
         BoF wiki page) in case you want easy access to documents
         mentioned but not in the agenda page

      *  the meeting registration system page (see below)

   o  It can also be helpful to run two separate Jabber clients
      connected to two separate Jabber servers, to prevent delays if one
      of the servers experiences an outage during the session.

   o  Determine if the session will be streamed via a realtime
      collaboration system such as Meetecho.  If so, you can also point
      remote participants to that system for interaction.

   o  If the session is large or is expected to be especially active
      (e.g., a controversial BoF), find an assistant who can help you by

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      sitting at another microphone, taking turns relaying information,

   Identifying one or more assistants is particularly useful if you want
   to go up to the microphone to speak as an individual or if you need
   to take a break or step out of the physical room at some point.

5.3.  During the Session

   As you perform your role during the session:

   o  Identify yourself in both the physical room and the chatroom so
      that participants in both venues know you are a Jabber scribe.

   o  Ask chatroom participants what level of information they need
      relayed into the chatroom.  For example if all chatroom
      participants are listening via audio or a system like Meetecho
      they might need less information relayed from the room.

   o  Ask chatroom participants to prepend statements they would like
      you to relay with "RELAY" or "MIC" (the former term is less

   o  When relaying a question or comment from the chatroom to the
      physical room, say "this is X relaying for Y from the chatroom" so
      that people know you are not speaking for yourself.

   o  It's not expected that you will know the names of everyone who
      comes to the microphone.  If you don't know the name of a person
      at the microphone, you have several options:

      *  look at their name badge if you are seated nearby

      *  query them directly (calling out "state your name, please" is

      *  ask in the chatroom or type something like "?? at the mic",
         since it is likely that a local participant will be able to
         identify the person for you

      *  look up the name of the attendee in the meeting registration
         system (this is typically found at a URL of the form "https://
         www.ietf.org/registration/<meeting>/attendance.py", such as
         "https://www.ietf.org/registration/ietf90/attendance.py"); you
         can quickly look up a name using this system if you are in

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   o  Be aware that lag happens between the time when something is said
      in the physical room and the time when someone provides a response
      in the chatroom, and take this into account when the interaction
      is time-sensitive (e.g., during a hum or a show of hands).

   o  Because of the potential lag time, ask remote participants who are
      doing a hum to indicate what choice their hum is for rather than
      just typing "hum" into the chat room.  For example, "hum yes" or
      "hum for option 1".  You can then more easily tally the results
      and report them to the physical room.

   o  If you have a chance to do so, you may want to measure the lag
      time between when something is said in the room and when it is
      heard on the audio stream and then let the remote participants
      know the length of the delay.  This could be accomplished by
      either listening to the audio stream yourself or working with a
      remote participant who you know is on the audio stream.

6.  Reporting Problems

   If you need to report a problem during an IETF meeting (e.g.,
   problems with media streaming), at the time of this writing there are
   several ways to do so:

   o  For network and media streaming issues, send email to

   o  For all other issues, send email to the "Meeting Trouble Desk" via

   o  To chat with members of the Network Operations Center (NOC), join
      the noc@jabber.ietf.org chatroom.

   o  To report a problem in person, visit the help desk in the Terminal

7.  IANA Considerations

   This document requests no actions from the IANA.

8.  Security Considerations

   Although XMPP multi-user chat rooms [XEP-0045] can be configured to
   lock down nicknames and require registration with the chatroom in
   order to join, at the time of this writing IETF chatrooms are not so
   configured.  This introduces the possibility of social engineering
   attacks on discussions held in IETF chatrooms.  It can be helpful for
   Jabber scribes to be aware of this possibility.

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   In addition, denial of service (DoS) attacks of various kinds are
   possible, e.g., flooding a chatroom with unwanted or automated

9.  Informative References

   [RFC6120]  Saint-Andre, P., "Extensible Messaging and Presence
              Protocol (XMPP): Core", RFC 6120, March 2011.

              Saint-Andre, P., "Multi-User Chat", XSF XEP 0045, February

Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Dan Burnett, Dave Crocker, Jelte Jansen, Warren Kumari,
   Jonathan Lennox, Alexandre Petrescu, Hugo Salgado, Yaakov Stein, and
   Greg Wood for their input.  Thoughts and ideas sent by Wes George and
   Janet Gunn to an IETF 87 mailing list were also incorporated into
   this document.

Authors' Addresses

   Peter Saint-Andre

   Email: peter@andyet.com
   URI:   https://andyet.com/

   Dan York
   Internet Society

   Email: york@isoc.org
   URI:   https://www.internetsociety.org/

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