[rfc-i] Fwd: Comment on headers-and-boilerplates

Rob Sayre rsayre at mozilla.com
Mon Dec 15 03:27:59 PST 2008


On 12/14/08 1:24 AM, Jari Arkko wrote:
> I agree with the proposed middle ground text (though I would prefer
> dropping the word stream).
>    
It's not obvious to me what "proposed middle ground text" is being 
agreed with, since the previous few messages have lots of interspersed 
edits.

Anyway, here are some comments on 
draft-iab-streams-headers-boilerplates-04.txt:

>    As the RFC Series has evolved over the years, there has been
>    increasing concern over appropriate labelling of the publications to
>    make clear the status of each RFC and the status of the work it
>    describes.  Chiefly, there is a requirement that RFCs published as
>    part of the IETF's review process not be easily confused with RFCs
>    that may have had a very different review and approval process.
>    Various adjustments have been made over the years, including evolving
>    text of "Notes" included in the published RFC.

This paragraph uses the passive voice excessively. Where did the 
"increasing concern" come from? Why is the existing text insufficient, 
and who deemed it so? Have the changes to "Notes" (changes by whom?) 
been aimed at different problems?

>    IETF Stream:  "This document is a product of the Internet Engineering
>       Task Force (IETF). "
>
>       If there has been an IETF consensus call per IETF process, an
>       additional sentence should be added: "This document represents a
>       consensus of the IETF community.  It has received public review
>       and has been approved for publication by the Internet Engineering
>       Steering Group."

This text is confusing to me. Don't all products of the IETF need to be 
approved by the IESG?

>
>    Independent Stream:  "This document is a contribution to the RFC
>       Series, independently of any other RFC stream.  The RFC Editor has
>       chosen to publish this document at its discretion and makes no
>       statement about its value for implementation or deployment.  It is
>       therefore not a candidate for any level of Internet Standard; see
>       section Section 2 of RFCXXXX."

The given reason for the existence of the third boilerplate paragraph is 
"describing the type of review and exposure the document has received."

I think the text reading "It is therefore not a candidate for any level 
of Internet Standard; see section Section 2 of RFCXXXX" is misplaced, 
since it does not describe review and exposure. It is also unevenly 
applied, since a similar statement could be made regarding IESG-approved 
Informational and Experimental documents (e.g. RFC 4627). What problem 
does this text solve?

The first paragraph reads

   This memo is not an Internet Standards Track specification;

The second paragraph reads

    Informational:  "This memo provides information for the Internet 
community.  This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. "

Also, the text "This document is a contribution to the RFC Series" is 
obvious and unnecessary. The text "independently of any other RFC 
stream" is incorrect, since it's not permitted to compete with the IETF 
in practice, and the series is edited for consistency.

That leaves:

Independent Stream:
       The RFC Editor has chosen to publish this document at its
       discretion and makes no statement about its value for
       implementation or deployment.

It is also clear that the first and second paragraphs of the boilerplate 
are very, very repetitive. Inconsistent usage of "memo" and "document" 
masks the repetitiveness somewhat.

- Rob


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