[rfc-i] Thoughts on the Independent Stream
dhc at dcrocker.net
Sun Oct 23 03:53:54 PDT 2011
On 10/22/2011 3:47 PM, Eric Burger wrote:
> I would offer that the Independent Stream is obsolete. The need to create a
> venue to publish non-IETF standards publications is totally irrelevant now
> that we have this thing called the World Wide Web. There is a lot of
> confusion in the marketplace that an RFC is an IETF publication.
> The ONLY work product of the IETF is an RFC. Independent Submissions dilute
> the RFC brand.
This demand and this justification has been put forward regularly over the last
20 years. Obviously they are valid, since the RFC series is valued so much less
now than it was then and the community is so much more confused about which
documents are standards and which aren't.
In other words, let's please try to distinguish between real consequences and
theoretical ones. Even being able to show that /some/ people believe that all
RFCs are standards is not enough. That fact has /always/ been true -- there is
even an RFC about it -- but it has proved completely irrelevant to the
real-world role and use of RFCs.
> I would like to point out that the average cost of RFC publication is $1,200
> per RFC.
If you are saying that we can no longer afford to publish Independent Stream
RFCs, that is completely different from saying we shouldn't publish them.
If indeed there are economic challenges for RFC publication, then we should look
carefully at the costs and consider ways to reduce them with alternatives to
cutting a stream, if only to make sure that we considered alternatives.
In order to make this concrete, I'll offer my own favorite alternative: Stop
doing technical editing of the documents during the RFC publication process!
The folks who perform this task do it quite well; so I'm not complaining about
their performance. My concern is about cost vs. benefit. In my experience,
nearly all of the changes they suggest are entirely valid but are likely to have
absolutely no effect on the actual utility of the document. In other words they
polish the document to a better shine, but they do not cause it to get better
mileage or to be safer to use
If the authors or working group that produce a document want it polished better,
let them do the work or pay for the work. If authors want to let a
poorly-written document be published, that's fine.
Watch what happens to the cost of publishing an RFC when you remove the
technical editing step.
And while a number of responses to your note were worthy counters, I want to
On 10/22/2011 6:05 PM, Joe Touch wrote:
> Finally, the RFC series - from its name alone, if not its history - was
> intended more towards the independent stream concept than primarily as
For reminding us of how far we tend to get from our roots...
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