[rfc-i] Some questions about the RFC Editor restructuring plan

Ray Pelletier rpelletier at isoc.org
Tue Aug 26 13:02:29 PDT 2008



On Aug 26, 2008, at 10:23 AM, Russ Housley wrote:

> Aaron:
>> Hmm, well, the ability for an RFC Editor to be responsible for series
>> continuity, style management, and errata is going to be very  
>> different
>> based on whether that person has financial control over the  
>> production
>> process.  Any changes will have an associated cost and consume
>> resources (e.g., creating or modifying editorial standards, software,
>> or process descriptions).  If the RFC Editor doesn't control
>> resources, they can only criticize and suggest, not **be  
>> responsible**
>> for implementing improvements.  This will create a three-way tension
>> between the Production House (who needs to manage to cost and
>> contractual agreements), the IAOC/IAD (who holds sets the contracts
>> and who, btw, isn't shown on the diagram at [1]), and the RFC Editor
>> (who has neither contract nor funding to push the Production House in
>> a desired direction).  If the RFC Editor has any authority at all,
>> this seems like a potential mess of unclear management authority.  If
>> they don't and provide only an advisory role, I think their ability  
>> to
>> **be responsible** for maintaining the quality of the series is going
>> to be very limited.
> You are arguing for a tighter coupling between the RFC editor and the
> Production house based on a good principle: do not make some one
> responsible for things that they have no authority to
> influence.  This a good principle, but I thin you are reading more
> into the responsibility than was intended.
> The RFC Editor is responsible for the series continuity, style
> management, and errata. To me that involves planning, style guides,
> and so on.  I do not see this a review every RFC before it is posted
> level of oversight.  I would expect that type of review to be
> provided by a quality control function in the production house.  I
> would also expect the RFC Editor to provide design review for
> proposed enhancements to web site design and tools
> development.  Again, this does not impact the day-to-day operation of
> production house, but it does offer the RFC Editor the opportunity to
> steer things that impact the overall series.
> If a production house contractor was ignoring all of the input from a
> loosely-coupled RFC Editor, the I would expect the IAD and IAOC to
> take contractual actions.  There is a parallel in today's structure,
> and these are the same actions that would be taken today if the IAB
> was very unhappy with the performance of the current  RFC
> Editor.  The IAB has oversight roles today, and as far as I can tell
> the community is quite happy with the manner that the IAB performs
> them, and the IAB does not need a tightly-coupled relationship in
> order to perform them.
> Russ
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