[rfc-i] Fwd: Comment on headers-and-boilerplates

Rob Sayre rsayre at mozilla.com
Thu Dec 18 13:23:10 PST 2008

On 12/18/08 2:24 AM, Cullen Jennings wrote:
> We are talking about document quality and a brand reflection of that. 
> I would be the first to agree that there are awful documents that came 
> through the IETF stream and that many good documents have come though 
> other streams. However, what people are looking for is the 
> understanding of the process that leads to quality that is in the IETF 
> stream -  I'm not saying better or worse, just a consistency of the 
> quality. 

Disagree--I wrote that the quality of the IETF stream varies wildly.

> The quality control process of this stream is widely understood and 
> very transparent.

Disagree. If that were true, we wouldn't be having this discussion. 
Unlike some other people, I am fine with one sentence along the lines of

   "This document does not specify an Internet standard of any kind."

on all non-standards track documents. That seems very clear to me.  In 
other words, I think your point 2:

   "I want to differentiate the breadth and type of review that a 
document received."

is superfluous, given a sentence stating that a document is not a 
standard. The text that Olaf sent on 12/12 repeats that the document is 
not a standard 3 times. This repetition is unwarranted. Is there a 
desire for the text to be long, so it seems more serious? (honest question)

Below is my proposal for an Independent stream document. It is drawn 
from Olaf's 12/12 text. It covers the fact the document is not a 
standard, and points out that there are no assertions of value.

   This document does not specify an Internet standard of any
   kind; <it is published for other purposes>.

   The RFC Editor has chosen to publish this document at its
   discretion and makes no statement about its value for
   implementation or deployment. See Section 2 of RFCXXXX.

Is this text insufficient in some way?

Here are the cuts I made to Olaf's proposed text:

cut:       "This memo is not an Internet Standards Track specification;"
add:      "This document does not specify an Internet standard of any kind;"
rationale: The phrasing I pulled from the second into the first 
paragraph is clearer for reader unfamiliar with the RFC series.

cut:       "This memo provides information for the Internet community. 
This memo does not specify and Internet standard of any kind."
rationale: Covered by status Informational, and the first paragraph. 
Also uses the term memo instead of document, for no apparent reason.

cut:       "This document is a contribution to the RFC Series, 
independently of any other RFC stream."
rationale: First portion is obvious, second portion is 

cut:       "It is not a product of the IETF stream and is therefore not 
a candidate for any level of Internet Standard;"
rationale: Redundant, misleading (IETF stream documents might not be 
standards track), negative.

- Rob

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