[rfc-i] Public face for the RFC series

Olaf Kolkman olaf at NLnetLabs.nl
Tue Jan 20 11:16:53 PST 2009

On Jan 20, 2009, at 5:27 PM, Paul Hoffman wrote:

> Greetings again. The changes proposed by Olaf on 2009-01-19 have a  
> new phrase that was not mentioned in draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-03:  
> "the entity that faces the community". It is good to see this  
> considered, but the new wording and the recently-previewed RFI are  
> at conflict with regard to the public face of the RFC series.
> If the RSE is meant to be the public face for the RFC series, that  
> person should be able to make the tools that the public sees when  
> looking at the RFC series. However, tool design, maintenance, and  
> deployment are run by the production center and the publisher.
> Two not-too-hypothetical scenarios illustrate this problem:
> - An author with a document in process goes to rfc-editor.org to see  
> the status of his document and finds that something is very wrong.  
> That author would then go to the RSE, who does not have any control  
> over the problem and also does not have control over the tool that  
> caused the problem.
> - An IETF participant goes to rfc-editor.org to look for all RFCs on  
> a particular topic and finds some serious problems with the search  
> mechanism. That participant would then go to the RSE, who does not  
> have any control over the problem and also does not have control  
> over the tool that caused the problem.
> If the RSE is meant to be the entity that faces the community on RFC  
> issues, that person needs to have control over what the community  
> sees on rfc-editor.org, both during the publishing process and after  
> publication. If they don't have any control over the content, they  
> should not be put up as the public face of the RFC series, but  
> should instead just be the coordinator/overseer/manager of the  
> process, interfacing mostly with the IAB and IAOC except during one- 
> way presentations at plenaries.


I think that your scenarios fit within the model under:

2.  Exercise executive-level management over the implementation of
     policies, processes and procedures established to ensure the
     quality and consistency fo the RFC Series.
     The RFC Series Editor will work with the IAB and IAOC to develop  
     policy and see that contractual agreements are met.

An RSE that "exercises executive-level management" would be empowered  
to take the steps necessary to make sure there are processes in place  
to deal with these sort of issues.

In the RSE SOW this is captured under:
J. Innovations
The RSE will continuously examine the RFC production process for  
possible improvements, propose experiments with feasible and useful  
ones, and recommend those that succeed.  The RSE should consider  
innovations to improve efficiency, improve coordination and  
transparency, and improve quality within the boundaries laid out in  
<RFC Model document> and RFC 4844.

A second way that the RSE can deal with these sort of issues is during  


Olaf M. Kolkman                        NLnet Labs
                                        Science Park 140,
http://www.nlnetlabs.nl/               1098 XG Amsterdam

NB: The street at which our offices are located has been
renamed to the above.

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