[rfc-i] RFC Editor Model Final Version?

Olaf Kolkman olaf at NLnetLabs.nl
Fri Sep 5 09:23:20 PDT 2008



Folk,

Given the little amount of public feedback I got I once went to my  
inbox again, talked to a few people and tried to come up with a straw- 
man that addresses the tension points.

1) The interaction of the RFC editor and its environment.

In the text below that is addressed by calling out that the RFC editor  
is responsible for identifying the steps that need to be taken and to  
call out that the IAOC is responsible to asses if those steps have  
been taken by the other parties. Obviously the RFC editor will be  
involved in that assessment.

2) Off line it was beeing made clear that the Editorial board  
currently advices/works with the RFC Editor about issues that will  
fall under the role of the 'RFC Editor function'. In the text below  
that role is called out too, in addition it is made clear who is  
responsible for the appointment of board members (I picked the  
Independent Stream Editor for that).

3) It was also made clear off-line that it is not quite clear how the  
RFC Editor can continue the "Branding" of the series when the  
publication function moves into the IETF secretariat. I tried to  
address that by extending the "Style Manual" responsibility somewhat.  
Maybe there is a better way to phrase that.

I realize these a quite a few changes but I think they reflect the  
consensus of the folk that I've heard both on- and off line.

So... the text below is a straw-man for the consensus document. Please  
respond before end of next week if you have specific issues otherwise  
this is what we start with.

I will try to get this text published on the IAB website ASAP. At a  
later stage this will be turned into a proper I-D and then published  
as an RFC. However the goal is to have this serve as the basis for  
2009's RFI/RFP process.

--Olaf

____________________________________________________________________________

The 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 considered 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.

Expenses for the RFC Editor

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


IAOC implementation

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 Submission Editor
	3.	RFC Production
	4.	RFC Publisher
The RFC Series Production and Process under this structure is  
schematically represented by the figure below.


RFC Editor

The RFC Editor is a single person, and this person is responsible for:
	1.	Identifying appropriate steps for RFC Series continuity
	2.	Participate in IAOC reviews of the RFC Publisher and RFC Publication
		functions to ensure the above mentioned continuity
	3.	RFC Style Manual publication for use by authors, editors, and the  
RFC publisher
	4.	RFC errata process management
	5.	Liaison with the IAB


After identifying the appropriate steps for RFC continuity the  
implementation of those steps lay with the RFC production and  
publishing functions. Since it is the IAOC that maintains oversight of  
the implementation RFC Editor participation in reviews of that  
implementation is expected.

The RFC Editor is a senior managerial position with a strong  
understanding of the IETF process and seasoned management skills and  
is supported by the RFC Editorial board (see below).

The IAOC has two alternative selection methods; it may consider in an  
RFI and subsequent RFP.

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 Submission Editor

The Independent Submission Editor 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
	4.	Appointment of RFC Editorial Board members, see below

The Independent Submission Editor is a senior position for which the
following qualifications are desired:

	1.	Technical competence
	2.	Deep familiarity with the RFC series
	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  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 Submission Editor selected in this manner  
would be part of the IASA budget.

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 to be selected by the IAOC through an  
RFP process, possibly 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


Implementation of the RFC publisher function can be pursued  in two  
different ways.
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.


The RFC Editorial Board

Today the RFC Editor is supported by an Editorial Board.  This Board  
will continue as it stands, to support the Independent Submissions  
Editor's review work and provide input and guidance to the RFC Editor.  
The appointment of board members will be the responsibility of the  
Independent Submission Editor. The Independent Submission Editor will  
work with the RFC Editor


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