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

John C Klensin john+rfc at jck.com
Sat Apr 18 07:14:25 PDT 2009

--On Saturday, April 18, 2009 03:31 -0700 SM <sm at resistor.net>

> Hi John,
> At 12:36 16-04-2009, John C Klensin wrote:
>> Because I have a tendency to worry about what can go wrong and
>> because I think the job of the initial RSE is going to be hard
>> --perhaps very hard, depending on what some of the words in
>> the SOW mean-- and very time-consuming, I think the community
>> has to
> This is unchartered territory.  It will up to the initial RSE
> to define the job while trying to keep everything running.

Indeed.  And, as long as the contractual relationships are
unclear and in a state in which the RSE actually has the
authority to manage what the Model expects her to manage, that
job may be at least hard and maybe impossible.

>>         (iii) There are plausible people who would be willing
>>         to be candidates for the RSE role, but only if they
>>         know the "stipend"  or other compensation
>>         arrangements in advance or understand the terms and
>>         conditions under which such an arrangement might be
>>         negotiated.
> If you want a person who can take on the initial RSE role, you
> have to talk about compensation instead of expecting them to
> step forward.

Again, we agree.   And I think it may actually have to be
"compensation".  In the words of many job descriptions, that
means "commensurate with salary history and experience", i.e.,
comparable to what the person would make doing something else,
including both salary and benefits/overhead expenses.  The IASA
should not expect that someone with the right level of
experience (remember "executive management"?) will take on a
difficult, time-consuming, and inevitably stressful as a gift to
the community in return for, e.g., travel expenses and a nominal
stipend.   We might get lucky. Someone might turn up who had the
needed skills and experience and who had other sources of
support or no need for external support.  But I think planning
for that is not only like wishing for the proverbial pony, but
could so limit the choices of possible RSEs as to leave us with
no options or only poor ones.

In order to be a little bit more concrete about this (and at the
risk of being even more blunt than usual), based on the Model
document and related public discussions, a realistic job
description for the RSE is going to require a set of skills that
are much more specific and harder to find than those required
for, e.g., an association administrator or executive.
Consequently, it may require a higher level of compensation to
fill the position.  Again, we might get lucky, but...

> I think that most of us would not dispute that the Editorial
> Board is better placed to oversee the new RFC Editor
> structure.  If it is decided that the Board should do that, it
> is better to keep the Editorial Board as it is.  Replacing the
> group entails giving the new people time to fit in and match
> the pace.  This is not the time for experimenting if one is
> serious about institutional memory and consistency.

Actually, it has been disputed frequently, especially by people
who are very concerned about accountability and appointment
models and (from my perspective) appear to be more concerned
about those issues than about whether something actually works
on January 1.
> If I recall the plenary discussions correctly, it was
> mentioned that there would be further consultation with the
> community.  That has not happened up to now.  There may be
> good reasons for that but it doesn't change the fact that it
> is a cause of concern.  There's still, albeit not a lot of
> time for the IAOC to break the silence.


> Trust is something that must be earned.  If the IAB would like
> the community to trust it to do "the right thing", it should
> strive to be more open.  There is a danger to that but that's
> the only way to ensure accountability.

I have to agree with this although I can also tell you, as an
IAB "insider" now, that the IAOC has not been significantly more
forthcoming with the IAB than it has with the community as a


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