[rfc-i] Comparatively minor questions on the motivations

Sandy Ginoza sginoza at amsl.com
Tue Dec 21 15:47:56 PST 2010


Below are a few quick (personal) comments about the motivations document.  

- From Section 3.3.1

"The I* has grown sufficiently large and complex that issues which appear to be simple
are often very subtle, and their resolution may have far-reaching conclusions sensitive to
the particulars of the decision. For the RFC Editor, someone has to own that effort. The
point person must vet it past experts, bring it to the community, anticipate the
consequences of the different options, and be insightful at finding a suitable outcome
when the right choice may be far from obvious."

It's true that issues that sometimes appear to be simple turn out to be larger issues that require community discussion, but there are a number of instances in which the issues that appear to be simple really are simple, and a decision can be made without much external discussion.  Imo, an individual with enough RFC- and IETF-specific knowledge can identify the complex and simple issues more easily, which is partly why I advocate for an RSE that is familiar with the RFC series and the networking community.

- From Sections 5.1 and 5.2

"The Style Manual as it stands is insufficient to direct substitute editors in case of an
unexpected break in service. The Manual should be reorganized, consolidated, and
updated as necessary. This should include a part-by-part review for currency and

"As previously identified, the Procedures Manual, along with
the Style Manual, is the core device for ensuring quick guidance of alternate editors in
case of an unexpected interruption in service."

I agree that the style and procedures manuals can provide quick guidance, but I do not believe editors can learn to edit and publish RFCs strictly by reading the manuals.  

- From Section 5.6

"5.6 Consider Supporting RFC Clusters and Enhanced RFC Annotation

At present, if one wishes to know the relationships between various RFCs, one has to
read the metadata and ‘walk’ from RFC to RFC. Also, despite the enormous body of
knowledge in the community, there is no commonly available facility that describes:
clusters of RFCs and their relationships (a ‘cluster’ is any collection of RFC that
are of interest to someone who has collected information on them),"

Please do not redefine "cluster" as this word is already defined on the RFC Editor pages; please see http://www.rfc-editor.org/cluster_def.html.  Overloading this term is cause for confusion, especially for newcomers.  


On Dec 21, 2010, at 12:52 PM, Dave Thaler wrote:

> I just finished reading the motivations document, and have some additional
> clarifying questions, which are minor compared to the questions Olaf and Ted
> summarized.
> 1) A half-time appointment would presumably lead to the RSE having something
>    else for the other half-time.  However, Section 2 states "This person must 
>   have no other interests."   Can you clarify to reconcile these two statements?
> 2) I still find it confusing as to what "consent" of the REOC really means in 
>    practice, in this proposed model.   What happens if they don't consent, or
>    if they have no consensus on whether they consent?  (This is actually more
>   a comment on the model than on the motivations, but the motivations 
>   discusses it and doesn't answer it for me.)
> 3) I found Sections 4.2.1 and 4.2.5 (and to some extend 3.2.1) to be confusing,
>   arguably contradictory, with respect to whose job it would be, in your 
>   recommendations, to lead various review meetings.
> BTW, I found the motivations draft far more clear than the model draft
> on what your recommendation is for the RSAG.   This at least answered
> my confusion on that point.
> -Dave
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> rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org
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