[rfc-i] comments on RFC style guide draft

George, Wes wesley.george at twcable.com
Thu Jan 23 07:45:58 PST 2014


On 1/22/14, 8:27 PM, "Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor)"
<rse at rfc-editor.org> wrote:


>  I haven't been trying to sneak drafts in
>behind the scenes. :-)
No worries, saw it go past in the RSS feed, had a few cycles to read
through. :-)

>>
>> As to the current text:
>>
>> The criteria for determining whether a page is a “personal web page” and
>> therefore unacceptable as a citation must be clearly defined, or this
>> restriction should be eliminated. The RSE is not equipped to determine
>> which websites are stable and which are not based on a spot evaluation
>> at the time of publishing, and it’ll just lead to unproductive arguments
>> with authors if it’s “I’ll know it when I see it."
>
>I understand your point, but I have to disagree about removing room for
>interpretation by the editors.  Judgement calls are a regular part of
>what we do, and I want to find a balance between reasonable guidance and
>rigid prescription during those judgement opportunities.

I’m not suggesting making it so prescriptive as to remove all judgement
from the editors. However, as an author, I need better clarity to guide my
selections of references. I think you’re right about the balance, and
perhaps the philosophy or rules of thumb guidance that you’d give your
editors in making these judgement calls may just need to be documented
somewhere so that an author (and WG) can ask themselves the same questions
well before it hits your queue.
>
>Our current process, to accept
>changes to contact information and adjust our information internally, is
>not ideal, but I am at a loss for a better way for that meets the needs
>of the IETF community.

I didn’t realize that it was possible to update contact info, but that may
be my fault. Is that published anywhere?
>
>>
>> Alternatives that come to mind:
>>
>> -creating a permanent email alias such as RFCnnnn at tools.ietf.org
>> <mailto:RFCnnnn at tools.ietf.org> that allows the authors to update the
>> contact email address associated with them if and when it changes (this
>> goes towards support of a metadata model for RFC format, I suppose).
>>
>
>I have several concerns about this approach - what about non-IETF
>documents?

I’m not sure I follow you. What RFCs does the RSE publish that are
non-IETF documents?

> How does this solve for authors who, for whatever reason, do
>not keep up with their contact information.  Still, perhaps something
>could be suggested as a code sprint project.  More thought is needed here.

It’s still dependent on the authors. However, to your point about code
sprint: Recently, it came to light that there is some functionality built
into the IETF mailing list management software that gives you a
single-entry way to change all of your existing IETF list subscriptions to
a new email address at once. Might not be that hard to add some
capabilities to at least identify and prompt people to update RFC metadata
based on a search for RFCs matching the old email address…

>> -allowing an erratum to be filed against the RFC to update author
>> contact info (this preserves the archival nature of the document, while
>> allowing for an important update to ensure that the author can be
>> contacted for IPR matters, questions/comments, etc).
>>
>
>I'm not clear on what you mean - allow the author to submit an errata
>when their address changes, or allow a reader to submit an errata when
>they cannot reach the author?

I meant the former, but suggested that when I didn’t realize that you
already had a manual update process, so it’s probably irrelevant.

Thanks for the responses!
Wes


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