[rfc-i] Fwd: I-D ACTION:draft-hoffman-rfc-author-guide-00.txt

Alex Rousskov rousskov at measurement-factory.com
Wed Sep 8 13:03:58 PDT 2004

On Tue, 7 Sep 2004, Bob Braden wrote:

> Note that the RFC Editor *edits* documents.  It would be good if all 
> members of IETF were required to take a course in English technical 
> writing before attempting an I-D, but even then I expect we would 
> see a great range of document qualities.

There is no doubt that RFC Editor edits documents. Unfortunately, 
overall RFC Editor impact (besides publication delays) is not 
immediately visible and is difficult to evaluate for outsiders.

It is difficult for me to objectively judge the current range of 
document editorial qualities. However, I know that many current RFCs 
have editorial bugs and take long time to publish. I also believe that 
the vast majority of RFC users do not care about minor editorial bugs. 
Thus, it is not obvious to me that RFC Editor should spend a lot of 
resources on *editing* documents, especially technically buggy 
documents such as proposed standards that are virtually guaranteed to 
have technical bugs.

> Note that the RFC Editor does have a set of (simple) internally 
> developed tools that we use for clerical tasks like checking for 
> missing blanks after periods or checking for consistency of 
> references and citations.

Are these internally developed tools publicly available?

> There are other tools that would be useful, of course.  How about a 
> tool that will catch misuse of "it's" vs. "its", or identify run-on 
> sentences, or bad punctuation, or lack of parallelism in complex 
> sentences?

Yeah. I wonder what IETF and Internet would benefit more from:
   - fewer misused "its" and run-ons in RFCs or
   - faster and smoother publication of proposed standards

I understand that these are not the only knobs, of course, but I hope 
this illustrates the evaluation approach.



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