[rfc-i] Makeup of the REOC

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Wed Jan 12 19:28:23 PST 2011

Hi Paul,

On 2011-01-13 14:51, Paul Hoffman wrote:
> Greetings again. One of the basic assumption of my proposal is an REOC
> that consists of representatives from each stream and a smaller number
> selected by Nomcom.[1] Glenn's current proposal is based on a small
> committee defined by the IAB, none of whom may be from current streams
> approving bodies, who have substantive knowledge of technical writing
> and publications, and substantial experience at using RFC Editor
> services as a author or editor.
> The contrast between the composition of the two groups is significant,

I agree, and I actually prefer your proposal, but not for the reason
that you do. I prefer it because it gives a more direct connection to
the wider community than does a group appointed by the IAB.

> and affects Glenn and my choices as to where to put the responsibilities
> for the RFC series. 

I don't see why.

> In my model, the REOC has a very direct and
> significant stake in the series and thus can be trusted with day-to-day
> management 

That absolutely does not follow. A committee cannot be trusted with
day-to-day management; it can be trusted to meet at some frequency
probably not exceeding fortnightly or monthly, and to engage in
circular email discussions in between (with one or two members who
miss the calls and don't read the emails). Been there, done that.

> (to assure that their documents move through with high
> quality) and long-term vision (to assure that their documents remain
> relevant for the long term). 

The committee might just develop a vision but the next year's committee
will not implement it. Been there, done that, too. It doesn't work.
This is, incidentally, why company boards appoint CEOs. To conduct
day-to-day management and to implement the long-term vision.

> In Glenn's current model, the REOC doesn't
> have nearly as much stake in the series and thus work better as
> oversight for an active manager with more responsibilities.

Yes, that's why I prefer your composition for the group rather than
IAB appointees.


> As Andrew pointed out in an earlier thread, there are serious costs both
> to another volunteer group that has shared responsibilities (such as I
> am proposing) and to a group with blurred lines of responsibility and
> reporting (such as Glenn is proposing). We need to weigh those costs
> against the benefits of the whole model, including what this means the
> RSE has to do, and not just of the formation of the boards.
> Although I still think my proposal is more sustainable than Glenn's
> current proposal, I can also see a more mixed model where the RSE has a
> few more stated responsibilities and the REOC has fewer. However, that
> type of mixing seems likely to cause conflict between the RSE and REOC
> in the long run. Instead, I think making essentially all the
> responsibilities in one side or the other makes for a cleaner update to
> 5620 and gives the IAB a much cleaner way to exercise their overall
> responsibility for the RFC Editor.
> Thoughts?
> --Paul Hoffman
> [1] FWIW, I somewhat agree with the comments that have pushed back on
> the Nomcom additions that I proposed. I think Nomcom could handle them
> fine, but I also agree that maybe these additions are not needed and add
> unnecessary complexity.
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