[rfc-i] RFC Editor Structure

Olaf Kolkman olaf at NLnetLabs.nl
Fri May 30 09:46:33 PDT 2008


Dear Colleagues,

Below is a proposed change in the RFC Editor model with specific  
requests for input. The Internet Architecture Board, being responsible  
for the oversight of the RFC series, welcomes your feedback and  
deliberations. The plan is also available through http://www.iab.org/documents/resources/RFC-Editor-Model.html 
.

Discussion about this proposal should take place on this list (RFC-interest at rfc-editor.org 
).

The IAB intends to judge consensus and draw conclusions after the IETF  
in Dublin (July 27 - August 1, 2008).

For the IAB,

--Olaf Kolkman

----------

Proposed RFC Editor Structure

Introduction

The IAB, on behalf of the Internet technical community, is concerned  
with ensuring the continuity of the RFC Series, orderly RFC Editor  
succession, maintaining RFC quality, and RFC document accessibility.  
The IAB is also sensitive to the concerns of the IAOC about providing  
the necessary services in a cost effective and efficient manner.

The definition of the RFC series is described in RFC 4844. Section 3.1  
defines "RFC Editor":

     3.1. RFC Editor

     Originally, there was a single person acting as editor of the RFC
     Series (the RFC Editor).  The task has grown, and the work now
     requires the organized activity of several experts, so there are  
RFC
     Editors, or an RFC Editor organization.  In time, there may be
     multiple organizations working together to undertake the work
     required by the RFC Series.  For simplicity's sake, and without
     attempting to predict how the role might be subdivided among them,
     this document refers to this collection of experts and  
organizations
     as the "RFC Editor".

     The RFC Editor is an expert technical editor and series editor,
     acting to support the mission of the RFC Series.  As such, the RFC
     Editor is the implementer handling the editorial management of the
     RFC Series, in accordance with the defined processes.  In addition,
     the RFC Editor is expected to be the expert and prime mover in
     discussions about policies for editing, publishing, and archiving
     RFCs.

RFC 4844 envisions changes in the RFC Editor organizational structure.  
The IAB is considering a change to increase flexibility and  
operational support options, provide for the orderly succession of the  
RFC Editor, and ensure the continuity of the RFC series, while  
maintaining RFC quality, maintaining timely processing, ensuring  
document accessibility, reducing costs, and increasing cost  
transparency.  The IAB and the IAOC want to know if the Internet  
community agrees that the proposed RFC Editor structure will meet the  
needs of the entire Internet community.


Expenses for the RFC Editor

The expenses discussed in this document are not new expenses.  They  
are part of the IASA budget.  Today, these expenses are part of the  
RFC Editor contract with ISI.

The model is constructed in such a way that it allows for all these  
functions to be implemented jointly or under different contracts.  In  
fact, a bidder could put together a proposal that includes one or more  
subcontractors.  Since the reporting structure would depend on how the  
manner that the contracts are awarded, they are subject to change over  
time.  As a result, the model does only describe responsibilities,  
procedures, and process.  The exact implementation is a responsibility  
of the IAOC.

Proposed RFC Editor Model

The proposed RFC Editor model divides the responsibilities for the RFC  
Series into the following:

    1. RFC Editor
    2. Independent Stream Supervisor
    3. RFC Production
    4. RFC Publisher

The RFC Series Production and Process under this structure is  
schematically represented by the figure at http://www.iab.org/documents/resources/RFCEditorProd.png

RFC Editor

The RFC Editor is a single person, and this person is responsible for:

    1. RFC Series continuity
    2. RFC Style Manual publication for use by authors and editors
    3. RFC errata process management
    4. Liaison with the IAB

The RFC Editor is a senior managerial position with a strong  
understanding of the IETF process and seasoned management skills.

The IAB is considering possible models for filling this position in  
the future.  The IAB is seeking input on the two possible models  
outlined below, and the IAB is interested in other potential models.

The first alternative for the selection of the RFC Editor is through a  
Request for Proposal (RFP) process run by the IAOC.  As in the first  
alternative, the IAOC would seek a person with the listed qualifications
in a broadly distributed RFP.  The winner would be selected by the  
IAOC in consultation with the IAB, and then, the IAOC would contract  
for the services.  Contract terms, including length of contract,  
extensions and renewals, shall be as defined in an RFP.  The  
opportunity to bid shall be broadly available.  Expenses to support  
the administrative operation of the RFC Editor would be part of the  
awarded contract and be part of the IASA budget.

The second alternative is an individual with the listed qualifications  
selected by the community and confirmed by the IAB.  An approach  
similar to the one used by the IAB to select an IAOC member every  
other year as described in RFC 4333 could be used.  Expenses to  
support the administrative operation of the RFC Editor selected in  
this manner would be part of the IASA budget.


Independent Stream Supervisor

The Independent Stream Supervisor is a single person, and this person  
is responsible for:

    1. Independent Submissions approval and processing
    2. Forwarding RFCs in the independent stream to the RFC Publisher
    3. Independent Submissions RFC errata review and approval

The Independent Stream Supervisor is a senior position for which the  
following qualifications are desired:

    1. Technical competence
    2. An understanding of the IETF process
    3. An ability to assess the technical competence of potential  
Editorial
    Board members
    4. Good standing in the technical community in and beyond the IETF

The IAB is considering possible models for filling this position in  
the future.  The IAB is seeking input on a possible model outlined  
below, and the IAB is interested in other potential models.

The proposal is an individual with the listed qualifications selected  
by the community and confirmed by the IAB.  An approach similar to the  
one used by the IAB to select an IAOC member every other year as  
described in RFC 4333 could be used.  Expenses to support the
administrative operation of the Independent Stream Supervisor selected  
in this manner would be part of the IASA budget.

Today, the RFC Editor when acting in the Independent Stream Supervisor  
role is supported by an Editorial Board, and no changes to the  
Editorial Board are being proposed.


RFC Production

In the proposed split of activities, RFC Production is performed by a  
paid contractor, and the contractor responsibilities include:

    1. Editing inputs from all RFC streams to comply with the RFC Style
    Manual
    2. Creating records of edits performed on documents
    3. Engaging in dialogue with authors when clarification is needed
    4. Creating records of dialogue with documents authors
    5. Requesting advice from the RFC Editor as needed
    6. Provide suggestions to the RFC Editor as needed
    7. Coordinating with IANA to obtain registry information
    8. RFC number assignment
    9. Forwarding ready-to-publish documents to the RFC Publisher
   10. Forwarding records of edits and author dialogue to RFC Publisher
   11. Liaison with IESG and IAB

The RFC Production contractor is expected to be selected by the IAOC  
through an RFP process, perhaps as part of the same contract as the  
RFC Editor.  The IAOC would seek a bidder who, among other things, is  
able to provide a timely and cost effective service against the  
established style and production guidelines.  Contract terms,  
including length of contract, extensions and renewals, shall be as  
defined in an RFP.  The opportunity to bid shall be broadly available.


RFC Publisher

In the proposed model, the RFC Publisher responsibilities include:

    1. Announce and provide online access to RFCs
    2. Provide online system to submit RFC Errata
    3. Provide online access to approved RFC Errata
    4. Provide backups
    5. Provide storage and preservation of records
    6. Authenticate RFCs for legal proceedings

The IAOC is considering two possibilities for selection of the RFC  
Publisher. The IAOC is seeking input on the two alternatives outlined  
below, and the IAOC is interested in other potential alternatives.

The first alternative is to extend the IETF Secretariat contract to  
include these services. Expenses to support these services would be  
part of the revised contract. The second alternative is a separate  
vendor selected by the IAOC through an RFP process. Expenses to  
support service would be part of the awarded contract.

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