[rfc-i] Comments on RSE models

Nevil Brownlee n.brownlee at auckland.ac.nz
Wed Jan 12 20:12:06 PST 2011

Hi all:

I started as Independent Submissions Editor (ISE) in February last
year.  As background, I published the NZ Theatre Technicians quarterly
magazine 1982-92, and I've been a WG chair since the mid-90s.  Also,
since the mid-90s I've been a networking researcher reviewing papers,
organising conferences, etc.

When starting as ISE I spent a lot of time finding out how the RFC
Editor worked, and since March 09 I've been attending meetings of
the Production Team (along with our TRSE).

Watching this list's messages about of RSE, REOC/REOC/etc,
I'd like to add a little more background to the discussion.

The RFC Production Team work very well under their contract,
concentrating on getting RFCs published in a timely way.  Most of the
time everything just ticks along (although some authors seem to make
AUTH48 stretch out a lot longer than 48 hours!).  However, now and then
something unusual comes up that needs to be resolved, e.g. a question
like "can references to I-Ds include their version number?"  Such
questions need an answer within a reasonable time; that's hard to get
via a Committee Discussion.  It needs 'rough consensus,' with a
definite path chosen - exactly as happens within a Working Group.

Again, the production team focus on getting RFCs published.  That
means they don't have time to spare to do things like updating the
Style Manual.  I don't believe that a Committee would get that done in
a reasonable time, there needs to be someone who does that as part of
their job.

Overall, I agree with Brian Carpenter, who said "we don't want either
a robot or management by committee.  An autonomous Senior Person and
an oversight committee seems a much more effective way forward to me."

Furthermore, I believe that's what Glenn's proposal is trying to achieve.

Cheers, Nevil

   Nevil Brownlee                    Computer Science Department | ITS
   Phone: +64 9 373 7599 x88941             The University of Auckland
   FAX: +64 9 373 7453   Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand

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