[rfc-i] RFC Editor Model Final Version?
olaf at NLnetLabs.nl
Fri Sep 5 09:23:20 PDT 2008
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.
The RFC Editor Structure
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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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