[rfc-i] a possible refinement to draft-iab-rfc-editor-model

SM sm at resistor.net
Tue Apr 14 23:21:28 PDT 2009

Hi Joe,
At 09:45 13-04-2009, Joe Touch wrote:
>IMO, there is no single carrier of the RFC Series Flame. The IAB/IESG
>carries the standards track, and the remainder are carried by the
>community as a whole.

I think that Leslie meant having people to bind the four functions of 
RFC editor model together [1].  Olaf provided his personal 
interpretation of "community" [2] and I agree with him on that.  If 
there's no single carrier of the "RFC Series Flame", the operation 
can turn into a disjointed one.  My view of the messages from this 
mailing list is that most people see the RFC Series as more than a 
publication mechanism for the Standards Track/IETF Stream.  Instead 
of asking for a single carrier, the discussion is centered around 
what can be done to make the model work and to keep the series 
consistent.  By consistent, I mean ensuring a common style for the 
series.  The style will obviously have to be accepted by the 
community as a whole.

>The management of the RFCs is provided by the ISOC, but this is a
>community entity. If the IAB wants yet another committee to review
>standards track or IETF-produced RFCs, that's fine.

I definitely cannot speak for the IAB. :-)  I don't think that the 
committee (that was proposed) is there to review IETF-produced 
RFCs.  During a previous discussion, it was mentioned that it can be 
a nearly impossible task to find a rare bird that possesses all the 
skills necessary to take up the job of RFC Editor.  Even if there is 
such a bird, the amount of work involved is enough to scare the bird away.

>I strongly object to anything between an individual and individual
>submission RFCs, ***especially*** anything involved with the IETF that
>does anything other than check for end-runs. The RFC Editor already has
>discretion to avoid publishing "inappropriate" RFCs (e.g., off-topic,
>legally entangled, etc.). I don't care whether they have an advisory
>group they or the community as a whole selects, but I do not agree that
>the IAB should be involved with this at all.

I strongly agree with you on that.  Individual Submissions/RFCs are 
separate from the IETF.  The intent is not to change that.

The problem, as I see it, is that somebody has to be involved in 
ensuring the stability of the operation.  The IAB views it as their 
responsibility.  If we don't want any IAB involvement, then we have a 
serious problem as there isn't any formalized structure to ensure the 
perennity of the RFC Series.  The RFC Editor is not a mechanical 
entity.  It is the people we rarely hear about that keep it 
together.  People come and go.  If nothing is done, there will be 
more problems.


1. http://mailman.rfc-editor.org/pipermail/rfc-interest/2009-March/001270.html
2. http://mailman.rfc-editor.org/pipermail/rfc-interest/2009-April/001322.html 

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