[rfc-i] Trying to parse the controversies

John C Klensin john+rfc at jck.com
Thu Jan 13 13:37:37 PST 2011


Hi.

Several people have asked me why I have been so quiet on this
list in recent months, since I clearly have opinion.   Most of
the answer is that, as an IAB member, I've been trying to listen
rather than push my own views.

One of the things I'm seeing is that people seem to be talking
past each other, in part because some considerations that are
really separate are being lumped together and in part because
some people seem to be seeing particular issues in terms of the
answer having to be one way or the other, with no intermediate
position.

In the hope that this will help us have a better conversation, I
think I've identified the following, largely orthogonal, topics:


* Management role versus policy role (Paul Hoffman's
	analysis suggests "administrative role versus management
	role" but I'm still not completely clear whether that is
	a separate dimension)
	
* Substantive publications expertise versus IETF
	community expertise... and where the other one comes
	from if we end up at one end of the spectrum or the
	other.
	
* Responsibility and authority concentrated in an
	individual (with oversight and advice arrangements)
	versus responsibility and authority distributed over one
	or more committees (with the same or different oversight
	and advice arrangements)?

	* RFC Editor function organized to serve and be
	exclusively responsible to the Streams versus one that
	is organized to serve the broader community and be at
	least somewhat independent of the Streams.

I don't see any of those three as binary: each one may have
intermediate positions that are less extreme than the contrasts
above.   For example, one could have a relationship between the
RSE and some committee in which the committee had to at least
approve any policy or publications format changes but was
advisory with regard to day-to-day issues.   

More notes will probably follow with my own analysis of what
should be done and why.

     john





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