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

Ted Hardie ted.ietf at gmail.com
Mon Jan 3 17:15:09 PST 2011

On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM, Brian E Carpenter
<brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:
> Well, I didn't read Glenn's answer as a flip answer.
> If there is no individual in charge of the coherence of
> the series, the various streams will, over a period of years,

I agree with you that basic coherence would take years to lose,
as it would take long-term changes in the attitudes of those
in charge of the streams.

I also think style, rather than format, is more likely to diverge in
the short term.

> drift apart in both form and style. We all know that management
> by committee doesn't work, so the IAB (or the RSAG, or an oversight
> committee) will not be able to prevent this happening. For example,
> after a while, one of the streams might decide to switch to PDF-only;
> if the production house said no, the stream could just declare
> independence and move on.

I think you're misjudging the ease with which any individual stream
could declare independence.  They would need the IAB's backing
and probably ISOC's.

>A good series manager would be able to
> avoid such an outcome. You could assign the RSE's individual tasks
> elsewhere, but not this overall responsibility.
> Of course, you could decide that this doesn't really matter, but if
> keeping a single consistent series is the strategic goal, I believe
> that having an individual in charge is a necessary condition.

I believe keeping this a single series is a strategic goal, even though
I disagree with Glenn's emphasis on management skills as the key
requirement for the role.  For me, the trick isn't finding someone who
can say "no" to requests for divergence, but finding someone who can
lay out the steps needed for it to continue to evolve as a series which
meets the whole community's needs.

> Regards
>   Brian Carpenter
> On 2011-01-04 06:42, Joel M. Halpern wrote:
>> I presume I am misreading your amplification Russ.
>> My problem is that as I read it, the only answer I could see would be
>> the construction of a full alternative model, specifying where all tasks
>> would be performed, how controls and interactions would be handled, and
>> all of the moving parts thereof.  As both you and Olaf understand that
>> would be a major task, that can not be what you are asking him to
>> provide.  (If the IAB wishes to assign a task of that magnitude to
>> Glenn, I would presume that they would discuss it with him.)
>> What am I missing?
>> Thank you,
>> Joel
>> On 1/3/2011 10:16 AM, Russ Housley wrote:
>>>   Glenn:
>>>>> 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.
>>> RFC 5260 in Section 3.1 considers two very different approaches for
>>> selection of an RSE.  A third was considered while writing RFC 5260
>>> that made the RSE position part of the production center.  Since the
>>> exact nature of the position has been so elusive, I think that Olaf
>>> asked a question that needs a well considered answer.
>>> Further, in your response to 1.a, you provide a list of things that
>>> might go wrong if the RSE seat is left empty.  But, you do not answer
>>> the second part of Olaf's question which is closely related to this
>>> question.  Olaf asked: "... what would the community notice in weeks,
>>> months, and years?"  I'd like to see your thoughts on that, and I'd
>>> like to expand Olaf's question.  If the RSE seat is empty, would the
>>> whole job fall to the IAB, or is there some portion of the job could
>>> easily be handled by the RSAG without too much interaction with the IAB?
>>> Russ
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