[rfc-i] community member or not Re: [IAB] RFC Series Editor (RSE) Statement of Work

Stephen Farrell stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie
Fri Aug 2 08:55:46 PDT 2019


Hiya,

On 02/08/2019 16:30, Leslie Daigle wrote:
> 
> 
> Replying to just one point in this, as I am still trying to chew through
> the larger problem:
> 
>> - 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

So I think the rest of that bullet is important to keep with the
first part you quote above:

"(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:-)"

> This didn’t fit Jon Postel.  Nor did it fit Bob Braden or Joyce
> Reynolds.  All were IETF community members.

Sure.

> I could ask if your point is a reflection on the IETF community being
> less luminary than it used to be.

No idea. I wasn't about 'till about mid-'90's and like most
IETFers didn't care at all about any of this until much more
recently. That said, I think I'd bet it was always true that
the community included quite a few people who'd wrongly-think
they could be a good RSE and very few who would be.

> But, ISTM that part of the larger problem is that we’re trying to “hire
> expertise”, that both understands our universe and brings in some level
> of external subject matter experience and expertise, which is good.  But
> then we, (for we == leadership, at least) treat them like staff, not
> community.

I don't believe it's accurate to say that "leadership" (if
you mean every IAB/IESG/LLC-board member) "treat them like
staff." I do agree that that's a perception that's out there
that seems to me to be based on a real divergence of opinion
in the community (and not just "leadership") as to how the
RSE role (and maybe other roles) ought be defined.

So while it's a bit self-serving for me to say it, it may
be that thinking of the RSE situation as being nothing more
than a leadership problem may be mistaken. (Even if I'm
right there, it of course remains entirely understandable
and even correct to beat-up on leadership in such cases:-)

Cheers,
S.

> I have (many) more thoughts on that theme, but will stop there, for now,
> and see what people think.
> 
> Leslie.
> 
> 
> On 1 Aug 2019, at 17:04, Stephen Farrell wrote:
> 
>> 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
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> rfc-interest mailing list
>> rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org
>> https://www.rfc-editor.org/mailman/listinfo/rfc-interest
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