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

John C Klensin john+rfc at jck.com
Mon Jan 12 23:54:30 PST 2009

--On Monday, January 12, 2009 23:08 -0700 Cullen Jennings
<fluffy at cisco.com> wrote:

> John, agree with most your points and certainly the point that
> all streams have produced both awful and excellent quality
> documents but one point inline.

Oh, we are in complete agreement.   See below.
> On Dec 25, 2008, at 9:46 PM, John C Klensin wrote:
>> Independent of that, let me reiterate what I believe to be an
>> important principle (and one with which I think you at least
>> partially agree): it is bad for the IETF and bad for the
>> broader community if the IESG puts itself into the position
>> of telling intentional lies (or of being put into that
>> position by others).
>> Some, perhaps even many, independent submission documents are
>> extensively reviewed in the IETF community.  Some even
>> originate in IETF WGs.   Others are extensively reviewed by
>> experts who are not visibly IETF participants.  For the IETF
>> to "disclaim any knowledge" requires that no participant in
>> To imply that anything that does not come out of the IETF
>> stream is inferior as a consequence is, at best, a fairly
>> extreme form of hubris.  We also know that
>> While I hope we don't need to belabor the point, I could
>> happily live with statements equivalent to any or all of the
>> above.  But I'm very unhappy if the IESG goes much beyond
>> that without making a case-by-case determination that there
>> is evidence of a problem, either of technical quality or of
>> lack of review...
> But this sort of review is how we got into the IESG note mess
> in the first place. What percentage of the IESG time should be
> spent on these determinations? How much time should the
> community that reads IETF LC spend on it? How much should this
> slow down IETF stream work? How much should it be allowed to
> delay work from the other stream. I suspect theses were some
> of the problem that caused the IESG to move to trying to use
> default IESG statements that are in use today. I suspect no
> one really likes them - I'm sure the authors don't. Even
> today, the IESG does spend time trying to make sure the notes
> are not too inaccurate and has used non default notes in some
> cases.

I think the IESG should spend about zero time.   I think that,
if the IESG spends time on anything besides determining whether
a document, if published, would interfere with IETF efforts in a
significant way, the folks who see the IETF stream being slowed
down should protest loudly.   _However_, if the IESG does not
make a careful determination on the quality of a given document,
the quality of its review, or both, then I believe it is
inappropriate for the IESG to force any note that imply that the
document might be somehow defective.   I don't think the IESG
should do such reviews, but I also don't think they should make
negative of condescending statements if they do not.

The latest discussion (within the last 24 hours) about the
headers-and-boilerplates document is exactly on track with the
above, IMO.  Olaf's text specifies the document classification,
the track, and, where appropriate, the nature of the review and
consensus process separately.  With Joe's suggested tuning about
specifying what something is rather than trying to make a list
of what it isn't, I think that material is largely done.


More information about the rfc-interest mailing list