[rfc-i] [IAB] Intended Publication: RFC Editor Model (draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-02.txt)

Olaf Kolkman olaf at NLnetLabs.nl
Wed Nov 19 11:55:02 PST 2008

On Nov 16, 2008, at 4:18 PM, Jim Schaad wrote:

> Olaf,
> While I am happy to hear that this is not an endpoint, statements in  
> the
> document like "The IAB approved the RFC Editor model on October 1,  
> 2008" do
> not lead a casual reader to assume that this document is still a  
> work in
> progress, but rather is a final document.

If you have a suggestion in how I can make this even more explicit  
than the language that followed immediately after the line you quoted  
above, I'd be happy. The text that followed was:

"It should be noted that the publication of the document as an RFC  
does not cast the model in stone, as the primary purpose of this  
document, throughout the publication procession, is to encourgage  
normal community review in order to ascertain consensus to work to  
this model as a first step. The document, and the resulting  
structures, will be modified as needed through normal procedures. The  
IAB will continue to monitor discussions within the community about  
potential adjustments to the RFC Editor model and recognizes that the  
process described in this document, may need to be adjusted to align  
with any changes that result from such discussions."
>> Practically, if the two functions are executed by different persons/
>> institutions,  I think Ray's suggestion, that initially there would  
>> be
>> a high "this-passes-the-series-editors-desk" level while later the  
>> mode
>> would be 'trust-but-verify', is a likely implementation.
>> Implicitly I think there is a question whether the RFC Series editor
>> maintains the technical quality of the series.
>> The RFC Series Editor may engage in a dialogue if she thinks that the
>> technical quality of a particular stream is technically sub-standard
>> ('Identifying appropriate steps for RFC Series continuity'). The  
>> stick
>> that the model provides the RFC Series editor to deal with such  
>> issues
>> is: "Liaising with the IAB". I guess there is some clarification text
>> needed here.
> Personally I found the response from Ray as less than useful.  Like  
> John, I
> was not sure what he was proposing.
> IMO, the document should be modified so that the RFC Series Editor  
> has the
> explicit duty/opportunity to approve every document prior to  
> publication.
> It would be up to the RFC Series Editor to decide if this was a full  
> review
> or a pro-forma review.  I would not understand how to implement the
> suggestion - well maybe review some of them sometimes from the view of
> either the production house or the series editor.

What I read in this comment is that you think that the RFC Series  
Editor should have a gating function. IMHO that would be fare to  

While it should not be the case that the Series Editor has no  
opportunity to put the foot on the break in the case desired quality  
criteria are not met for a particular document I think it is much more  
important that the Series Editor maintains series oversight in what,  
in a hallway conversation, was called an "auditing role" and not so  
much an operational role.

If the Series Editor would volunteer to assert a much more   
operational role that would be possible during the AUTH48 period but  
IMHO the model should not go into so much detail. I do not immediately  
have a suggestion for text to go into the document.

[... much further down the message in an argument to make "English" a  
requirement for the Independent Editor. jim wrote:]

> While I agree that it is not the stream approver's job to do the  
> edits, it
> is their responsibility to be able to read and understand the  
> documents and
> make suggestions about how to improve the readability to the  
> authors.  I
> have never gotten a good response from anybody by saying "Re-write  
> your
> document, it is not understandable" without giving examples of how and
> where.  It would be very difficult to this without the ability to both
> fluently read in English (the language of all current RFCs) and the  
> ability
> to identify what is both good and poor English.  This ability is  
> currently
> provided by one or more members of each of the different groups that  
> do
> document approval.  I know that in the past I have received comments  
> from
> the IESG that required that I clean up language in some places.

Hmmm there is the ability to fluently read and argue in English (which  
I believe I master) and a competency in English, which I do not  
master. I realized that when I did a dictionary lookup to understand  
the exact meaning of competency in this context. Turns out there is a  
relevant lemma:

"also linguistic or language competence) Linguistics a speaker’s  
subconscious, intuitive knowledge of the rules of their language.  
Often contrasted with performance ."

Apparently the meaning of competence was not intuitive to me. Hence  
I'd be disqualified for this function, while I personally think my  
language skills would be sufficient.

Take the above with a grain of salt. I get your point and I do not  
mind adding the requirements to the document. I would not like to  
exclude non-native speakers of English though. How about:

<t>Demonstrated Editorial skills and good command of the English  
language </t>

>> The problem is that when the IETF is paying the function its
>> independence from the IETF is obviously at stake.
> Great - Put this in the document as an argument as to why we are no  
> longer
> going to fund this position.  I think that a simple statement that we
> believe it SHOULD be funded by some party would also be reasonable.

I have tentatively made the following edit (the text between brackets):

   	A stipend (which the IAB believes should be provided)
	and expenses to support the administrative operation of the
	Independent Submission Editor selected in this manner would
	be not be part of the IASA budget, but could be part of a
	3rd party's budget.

The reason why it is tentative is that it is close to what a good  
friend of me would refer to as "The IAB wants a pony".

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