[rfc-i] RSE and RAOC: developing consensus, episode 2

Ted Hardie ted.ietf at gmail.com
Tue Feb 1 05:24:52 PST 2011

On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 11:48 AM, Olaf Kolkman <olaf at nlnetlabs.nl> wrote:
> Colleagues,
> It appears we are zooming in on consensus, but getting some of the details nailed down needs more text and as always details can be tricky.
> Since we collectively deal easier with I-Ds documenting our thoughts, I've took the state as I believe it developed to in the thread called "RSE and RAOC: IAB state, developing consensus, and strawman." and created a draft out of it.
> http://www.ietf.org/id/draft-kolkman-rse-2011-00.txt

Hi Olaf,

Having been part of this conversation for a while, I can see how some
elements of the discussion to date have been incorporated.  But the
current document elides too much, in my opinion, of the backstory to
truly work as a standalone document or, sadly, even the full skeleton
of one.

The emerging consensus I have heard has been on finding or training
someone whose job will be need to have a balance of both competencies
and activities.  On the competencies side, we desire someone who
balances a background in and knowledge of technical publication with
an understanding of our community.  On the activity side, we desire
someone who balances management-level support of ongoing activity with
coordination of the development of the series.  We understand that it
may take time to achieve that balance, but that's our goal.  I don't
see that consensus reflected strongly in this document.  I worry that
without it being stated fully the parts of the community that aren't
currently following this discussion will not follow the intent of

I also understand a reluctance to change terms at this stage of the
game, but I believe that enough people have at this point said "we're
really hiring a publisher or publication manager" that it might be
appropriate to change the name.

If I can propose some updates, I'd suggest moving the "balances" into
the introduction or a section before discussion of responsibilities.
I'd re-title  2.1 to "Tactical responsibilities" and 2.2 to "Strategic

For section 3,  I think the general idea that the authority to hire,
review, and dismiss an RSE is the IAB's and the IAB intends to
delegate that authority to an oversight committee is clear.  But even
though the section is titled "RSE Oversight", the group is a Series
Oversight Committee, and the document contains a statement that:

"  In general it will be the RSOC that will approve consensus policy and vision
   documents as developed by the RSE in collaboration with the community."


"The RSOC will be responsible to ensure that the RFC Series is run in
a transparent and
accountable manner."

Shouldn't the section be titled "Series Oversight", and is this
delegation otherwise clear?
For me, one aspect that is not clear is whether the IAB could undo
this delegation
without updating this document.  That is, if an IAB-to-be decides it
dislikes the program model
or the RFC Editor so critical it should be handled by a committee of
the whole, does the
IAB have to publish a new document to eliminate this structure?


Ted Hardie

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