[rfc-i] [IAB] RFC Series Editor (RSE) Statement of Work

Stephen Farrell stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie
Thu Aug 1 14:04:00 PDT 2019


Hiya,

I have some feedback as an individual member of the
community...

On 15/07/2019 15:25, Sarah B wrote:
> Hello, Attached is the RSE SOW intended for the upcoming RFP. You'll
> find it very much inline with the previous SOW we sent out as part of
> the RFP during the last iteration of this process. The RSOC is
> requesting community feedback, and would like to run a 4 week
> feedback period. That period starts today, July 15, and ends August
> 15, 2019. Please direct your feedback to the RSOC directly.

Since we did ask after the plenary to use this list, I'll
send to here...

If the hiring/search process starts now, I think there ought
be some mention that the community are highly likely to be
modifying rfc6635 in the next two years. My read of all the
mails is that it seems to be an almost universally held opinion
that some changes to 6635 are needed and timely, e.g. taking
out the bit that pretends the RSE is somehow day-to-day
"responsible" for the operation of the RPC. Of course there
are very different opinions as to what changes to make but
in any case I think all potential new RSEs should be told
this up front.

I'm honestly not sure myself if going ahead now and trying to
find a new RSE for 2020-2022 and maybe more is a good or bad
plan. I can see arguments for waiting 'till we're done with
a 6635bis, for going ahead and involving a new RSE in 6635bis
discussion and for trying to find someone to be acting RSE
for a year or so while the 6635bis discussion happens. I'm
also not clear that there's a community consensus on that
question.

(It'd be great if more people explicitly said which option
they think ought be taken here for this question that needs
an answer within a couple of weeks. IIUC the default will be
to run the process as per 6635 as that's the only reasonable
default I can see in the absence of consensus for something
else.)

If I were forced to choose between one of the three options
from the para 2 above this, I think I'd very weakly go for
trying to get a new RSE now who is willing to be involved
in the 6635bis work. (My initial preference was for an
acting RSE but very very few of the sensible people I chatted
to about this in Montreal seemed to like that.)

Other than that, reflecting on some of the other mails, my
personal feedback to RSOC is:

- please do considering a search committee made up of people
that you hope will be acceptable to those with all shades of
opinion as to the RSE position and the current situation (if
they exist and are gullible enough to say yes to you;-)

- as previously stated in the threads about RSE-as-employee,
please do not restrict yourself to searching for a new RSE
from locations with some specific (e.g. US-style) employment
law - finding the best person and not trying to pick based
on a preferred contractual arrangement is what I hope you do

- perhaps consider adding something to the statement of work
(or whatever you publicise) to the effect that the RFC series
has been on the go for 50 years and we'd like it to continue
for some decades more (so long as interesting material keeps
turning up to publish) and that such a long term focus is
part of the RSE role in 6635 and is extremely likely to be
part of the role in future too

- unless you're going for the acting RSE approach, please do
not encourage applications from members of the IETF community
as I think we don't want an RFC author for the RSE role but
rather a series editor and those are IMO quite different things
(there may be a couple of RFC authors who could be a good RSE,
but I'd bet there are many more who'd wrongly-think that they
could be a good RSE, so it'd be good to not have to deal with
those folks if you can think of a nice way to discourage them:-)

Cheers,
S.




> 
> Kind regards, Sarah Banks, Chair on behalf of the RSOC
> 
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