[rfc-i] draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-v2-02 - policy authority

Olaf Kolkman olaf at NLnetLabs.nl
Fri Jul 1 01:26:41 PDT 2011

On Jun 29, 2011, at 5:58 PM, Dave CROCKER wrote:

>   My own view has been that the IETF community has /always/ been the ultimate arbiter of policy concerning the RFC Editor, or at least has been for roughly 15 years. That is, my model has had the IAB acting as the assessor of IETF community preferences on this topic.  In any event, the IAB is certainly using a community-consultation model /now/.  Consequently I am not seeing the wording change as a policy change.

SM's remark is spot-on. 

But Dave might be too. Depending, that is, on what he means with IETF community.

In many contexts we talk about the IETF community as the community that produces standards. It is the community that publishes on the IETF-stream and for which the IESG acts as the assessor.

In other context we talk about the IETF community as the community that includes the folk that are active in Internet related research and Internet developments, the folk that publish in the IRTF and Independent stream. I have started calling that the 'Greater IETF'.

I have tried to make that distinction every time when we talk about RFC Editor policy. The RFC serves a community of which th Greater IETF is a subset. It is the minimum set we should reach.

During the time we developed the Independent Stream definition (RFC5744) we created a special list (the independent mailinglist see http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/independent/current/msg00001.html) on which we invited 'Individuals familiar with the RFC series and working in the Internet research and engineering community'. When that list was created we not only mailed a heads-up to the IETF but also to other non-ietf lists like operator lists.

Making that distinction between IETF and greater IETF is also the reason why discussion about the RFC Editor constructs are not held on the IETF mailinglist but here on the rfc-interest list.

I feel embarrassed for not having caught this change in my review before the document got posted.

I believe that the change in the first sentence is a good one. 'overall interest of the Internet community' is something we want to stick to. Although removing "IETF" from "IETF community" might make it a tough task to determine where the community is. But, if we phrase the sentence as:

  All decisions are to be made in the overall interest of the Internet
  community.  The community is the arbiter of policy.  The RSE
  must consult with the community on policy issues.

the combination with

  The RSOC will act with authority delegated from the IAB: In general
  it will be the RSOC that will approve consensus policy and vision
  documents as developed by the RSE in collaboration with the

will ensure that the IAB (ultimately) has the possibility to determine if the relevant community has been consulted.



Olaf M. Kolkman                        NLnet Labs


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