[rfc-i] RSE and RAOC: IAB state, developing consensus, and strawman.

Dave CROCKER dhc at dcrocker.net
Sat Jan 22 08:01:11 PST 2011


On 1/21/2011 3:34 PM, Olaf Kolkman wrote:
> A) Policy, Community, and Committee
> It appears that a rough consensus is developing about the role of the


(You didn't ask for feedback on this point, but it seems useful for us to 
confirm your assessment/decision.)

> - It is a group organized by the IAB. (This group works closely with
>    the IAB, we currently use the name program, but directorate,
>    project, or task force could be other labels for this beast).

For reference, these terms are being tossed around by folks, as if they have 
careful definition, important distinctions and formal IAB standing.  Perhaps 
they do, but I do not recall seeing anything about them and I suspect most of us 
don't know any of the details.

Where are these terms and their IAB status documented?

> B) Operational responsibility and the IASA.
> The RSE is responsible for the day to day operational coordination
> between the RFC functions (production, publication, streams etc) while
> the IASA is responsible for the contracts they be developing in close
> cooperation with the RSE.
> The IAB has interpreted Glenn's current proposal and subsequent
> discussion to zoom into a model with the following key properties


The list looks pragmatic, reasonable and useful.

> C) The roles of an RSE
> The discussion about the role of the RSE is one that we have cast in
> terms of a scale. That is to say, the role of the RSE is not a
> black/white type of definition.
> At the left of the scale we place a type of editor that has a strong
> background in the IETF engineering community.
> At the right side we place a type of editor that has a strong
> background in technical publishing, possibly in the field of technical
> standards publication. Somebody who understands how to develop a
> technical series,

+1, I think.

Since these are orthogonal attributes, placing them on the same continuum is not 
about their inherent relationship, but about the "amount" of each the community 
wants, as your following text suggests.

> Within the IAB there is a general consensus that a mature RSE that
> would ideally perform the job roughly in the middle of these two
> extremes. There is also a general IAB consensus that looking for an
> IETF person with significant publication experience, or a person with
> publication background with significant IETF experience will get us
> nowhere. In fact, wanting the best of both worlds is what got us in
> the situation.


> So while it is clear that we should be focusing our search to a person
> that is either to the right or to the left of the spectrum we have not
> developed a consensus on which role that should be. (Glenn's
> recommendation's are strongly leaning to the right hand side of the
> scale.)


I think the recent burst of +1's to Ted's posting established a basis for 
claiming that we do have a useful consensus on this issue of balance at least 

If the community says "the RSE needs to X" and one side of the continuum 
requires those skills and the other doesn't, that's an implied resolution to the 

We also need to be careful about a focus on "balance".  It tends to create a 
sense of precision and an ability to measure that we don't really have.

So it might be useful to replace the construct of a continuum with some 
candidate sets of job description language with a set of must have / should have 
/ would be nice to have statements of skill and background requirements.

That said, your strawman exercise is really quite excellent...

> The first assignment, documented in the SOW, is to develop a vision
> for the RFC series that takes into account that:


> Another key task the SOW is to create documentation and structures
> that allows continuity for the production house function;



   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking

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