[rfc-i] Some questions on the model and the motivations

Dave CROCKER dhc at dcrocker.net
Mon Jan 3 15:57:15 PST 2011

On 1/3/2011 7:16 AM, Russ Housley wrote:
>>> 1.b) Suppose we would redesign the model to get rid of the RSE, what responsibilities would need to be assigned ownership, where would you assign those responsibilities in the current 'greater IETF'?
>> I do not believe this would be wise and do not have a recommendation for doing so.  If I had been
>> able  to find a way to do this without an RSE I would have recommended. Since this is contrary to
>> the way the Editor has operated for the last 40 years, we are entering unknown, and potentially risky,
>> territory.
> This comes across as a flip answer.  I really think it deserves a more.

Or much less...

    "We are responsible for doing x.  Please help us by doing y".

      After some months... "OK.  Here is y."

    "You didn't do z."

       After some weeks... "OK.  Here is z."

    "What if we didn't do x?"

       "I think that would be a mistake."

    "That's a flip answer."

By my own reading of Glenn's note, it was extensive, thoughtful and consistent 
with the documents he has previously issued.  His response to this one question 
was brief because there was so much context providing foundation leading up to 
that note and in it.

If his response to that one questions seems insufficient, perhaps the real 
requirement is to read and think about the surrounding material more carefully.

Frankly Glenn should simply have declined to respond to a set of questions from 
the IAB Chair that were far out of scope from his existing assignments and 
served only to provide one more opportunity for us to start over with 
yet-another line of questions to consider.

The handling of the RSE topic has been marked by constantly changed goals, 
disconnected suggestions and criticisms dropped into the mix without context or 
followup, debates about terminology rather than content, and criticism of the 
consultant as if he has the responsibility for resolving this topic.  He had 
responsibility to formulate recommendations.  The IAB has the responsibility for 
doing the work of evaluating, adapting, and implementing them.  The discussion 
on this list is, at best, an adjunct to that process; it is not a replacement.

If someone wants to argue that we should go down a radically different path, 
such as not having an RSE, it is their responsibility to do the work of making 
that case.

Tasks for the RSE have been documented. If someone believes they do not need 
doing, explain why.  If someone believes the tasks will be performed by someone 
else, then say who and say why it is plausible to believe the tasks will get done.

Constructive debate requires focus and incremental refinement.  It requires 
engaging with what has already been presented, by offering comments that support 
it, criticisms that find specific flaws with it, and suggestions for improvements.

We need to see postings that develop incremental, connected threads of thought 
about the substance of the work to be done and the skills needed to do them.



   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking

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