[rfc-i] [IAB] path forward with RFC 3932bis

John C Klensin john+rfc at jck.com
Tue Sep 22 10:25:23 PDT 2009

--On Tuesday, September 22, 2009 18:37 +0200 Harald Alvestrand
<harald at alvestrand.no> wrote:

>> I'd like to see the phrase in question removed or perhaps
>> clarified (say to include planned standards work or some
>> such).
> That phrase was also present in RFC 3932, and, as you note, in
> RFC 2026.
> I'm concerned that in our eagerness to make the perfect
> document, we might be making too many changes, especially at
> what's hopefully a late stage in the process of getting that
> revised.

Yes.  But, as Aaron points out, the phrase as written is wrong.
And bringing these wrong phrases forward then gets us into
arguments about precedent, i.e., "that must be exactly what was
intended because it has occurred in multiple documents over a
long time".   IMO, that means it is time to fix it.

> If I remember rightly (but vaguely) from the writing of 3932,
> the phrase was kept that way because we didn't want to be
> unable to speak about a document just because the WG wasn't
> chartered yet, or the work was processed through independent
> submissions to the IESG, or any of the other multitude of ways
> work gets done in the IETF without invoking excessive
> procedural overhead.

Quite reasonable.  But one could say "or work under development
in the IETF" or equivalent without invoking the
ever-controversial "IETF community".

> That said, the IESG notes in 3932 were tailored for conflict
> with WGs specifically - it was also the desire of the
> IESG-at-the-time that the note to the RFC Editor needed to
> *identify* the work it conflicted with, not just a vague
> "there's work in this area".

And the latter has gotten somewhat lost along the line, along
with the concept that those statements were general guidance
about what was intended, not literal text to be invoked as


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