[rfc-i] Discussion about Committees and RSE models

Ole Jacobsen ole at cisco.com
Mon Jan 17 17:33:38 PST 2011

I have to agree with you. I think the person who eventually gets the 
RSE job would be expected to have a certain amount of "vision" and 
some ideas for improvements to the way we do things, and certainly be 
"in the driver's seat". But it's also clear that a number of changes 
would require not only "committee buy-in" but also community 
agreement. I'll mention the publications format (ASCII, PDF, e-Pub) 
just as an example. It might not seem as big deal to those not 
familiar to our processes, but I am sure that a unilateral decision on 
the part of the RSE would have "major implications".

Speaking as someone involved in publishing, I really appreciate the 
value of a group of advisors that I can turn to for all kinds of
advise, but it's also clear that there are times when I have to
make decisions without them, or turn to somebody else entirely.

I suspect there are, collectively, enough experts in this community 
that the RSE wouldn't normally have to "wait for an answer" very long.

I don't have a strong opinion that one model is much better than 
another, perhaps we simply have to try one and see how it goes. This
might mean getting a volunteer to do the job for a while or perhaps
using a contractor who can accept a 6 month to 12 month term.

I am still not sure where and how to find such a person...


Ole J. Jacobsen
Editor and Publisher,  The Internet Protocol Journal
Cisco Systems
Tel: +1 408-527-8972   Mobile: +1 415-370-4628
E-mail: ole at cisco.com  URL: http://www.cisco.com/ipj

On Mon, 17 Jan 2011, Bob Hinden wrote:

> I have read several comments on RSE model stating that committees 
> can do anything right, make bad decisions, can't be trusted, and are 
> guaranteed to not have the required expertise.
> I am confused by this in the IETF context as everything is done by 
> committees.  Working groups are committees, the IESG is a committee, 
> the IAB is a committee, the IAOC is a committee, the Nomcom is a 
> committee, the ISOC board of trustees is a committee, directorates 
> are committees, etc.  I don't claim that any of this is perfect, but 
> I am confused by the statements that committees relating to the RSE 
> model won't work, when they appear to work in other areas of the 
> I understand why a committee needs to have the right expertise to 
> work, but I don't understand the unsubstantiated claim that they are 
> bound to fail.  If we don't put the right set of people on the 
> committee it will fail, but that also true for hiring an RSE.  If we 
> don't hire the right person with the right capabilities, then that 
> won't work either.  But that's not a reason to not hire an RSE.
> Bob
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