[rfc-i] RFC Editor Model Final Version?

SM sm at resistor.net
Sun Sep 7 00:43:49 PDT 2008

At 09:23 05-09-2008, Olaf Kolkman wrote:
>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.


>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).

If the RFC Editor is expected to be a prime expert in the discussions 
about policies, then  it might be helpful to have a good standing in 
and beyond the IETF community as one of the qualifications.

The RFC Editor would have to be familiar with the RFC series to be 
able to identify appropriate steps for its continuity.

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


>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.

This alternative is better as it allows the community to have a say 
instead of going for "cost-effective" solutions at the expense of quality.

Any individual selected for RFC Editor or Independent Streams Editor 
would either have to be sponsored by a company or receive some 
remuneration as there is a cost to bear in doing this work.  Having a 
person from a company involved in the IETF process may not be 
appropriate for transparency reasons especially in the case of the 
Independent Streams Editor.  The second option would allow a wider 
range of individuals with the appropriate profile to be nominated.

>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

One of the responsibilities of the RFC Production is the "editing 
inputs from all RFC streams to comply with the RFC Style 
Manual".  Shouldn't the forwarding be to the RFC Production (see 
structure image)?

>         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
>         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

According to the above, the RFC Production would only request advice 
from the RFC Editor when it deems fit, i.e. the RFC Editor cannot 
direct it what to do.

>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

If you are going for an individual for RFC Editor, you could move 
items 1 and 6 to RFC Production and extend the IETF Secretariat 
contract to provide services for items 2, 3, 4 and 5.  The IETF 
Secretariat would also have to provide a publishing service to the 
RFC Production for online access to RFCs.


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