[rfc-i] headers and boilerplates last minute proposal

Joe Touch touch at ISI.EDU
Thu Apr 9 15:00:02 PDT 2009

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Hi, John,

John C Klensin wrote:
> I am actually less worried at this point about the included text
> than I am about the instructions for its application.  So I
> think we are talking about the same material.
>> Can you explain if that makes it more clear, or if not, what
>> the concern is?
> If I correctly understand things, you appear to be pushing for
> more specific and directive language, with the assumption/
> argument that, if we get the included text wrong, we can and
> should go back and revise/update the RFC to change the headers
> and/or boilerplate text and apply new (or even identical)
> directive language to the new text.
> I am suggesting that we would be much better off with directions
> that tell the RFC Editor that the included text is either strong
> guidance or something to be used initially until better ideas
> and/or editing come along, but to leave the control in the hands
> of the RFC Editor (RSE) subject to community review.  (If I've
> correctly understood, Leslie prefers "initially" while I prefer
> "guidance", but I can live with either.)

No real disagreement there. Here's my point:

Whatever you say, don't bother saying "once published" or "until
overriden by another RFC". Those two things are implicit in all
directives in an RFC.

> In other words, I'm hoping for a tone in the document of "Dear
> RSE, please consider the attached to be carefully-written and
> carefully-reviewed material that we believe should be in the
> Style Manual" with at least an implicit "when you have done
> that, and when and if you make further changes in the future,
> the IAB needs to review the revised Style Manual because this is
> text about which the community is sensitive".  That contrasts
> with "Dear RSE and Production House, you are ordered to put this
> exact text where this document says you should put it" (or
> anything close to that), to which I would strenuously object on
> the grounds of both micromanagement by committee and wasting the
> community's time.

Sure. That's the difference between saying "use exactly this text" and
"follow this spirit, the specific content of which can be changed by the
following process". That's fine.

Either way, the statement "and do this once this doc is published and
until overridden by an RFC" is not needed.

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