[rfc-i] [IAB] Comprehensive review of draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-v2-02 - RSOC

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Sun Jul 10 14:43:10 PDT 2011

On 2011-07-11 07:11, John C Klensin wrote:
> Joel and SM,
> First, my apologies for once again confusing "Project" and
> "Program".  The latter was intended of course.
> --On Sunday, July 10, 2011 13:15 -0400 "Joel M. Halpern"
> <jmh at joelhalpern.com> wrote:
>> The intention, as I understand it, regarding the RSOC is:
>> 1) The IAB is responbsible for oversight of the RSE
>> 2) The IAB understands that charging the full IAB with
>> directly performing this function is unlikely to be effective
>> 3) So the IAB is assigning a few IAB members, and a number of
>> community members, to perform that oversight.
>> 4) In order to ensure that this committee has sufficient
>> authority, and has appropriate ties to the whole IAB, the IAB
>> operates this as a program of the IAB.  I.e., this is the
>> method the IAB is using to exercise its responsibility and
>> authority.
>> 4') In order to be clear with the community, this is described
>> in the document rather than being left as an exercise for the
>> discerning observer of IAB activities.
> The above is consistent with my understanding (I take some small
> blame for its design).   However, it raises some problems for
> the document.   SM has identified some of those...
>> On 7/10/2011 12:41 PM, SM wrote:
>> ...
>>> The Abstract Section mentions that:
>>> "The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) oversight by way of
>>> delegation to the RFC Series Oversight Committee (RSOC) is
>>> described, as is the relationship between the IETF
>>> Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) and the RSOC."
> Note that I expressed some concern with that wording in my B.1
> although not explicitly because I didn't consider it really
> important.  YMMD.
>>> The IAB approves the appointment of an organization to act as
>>> RFC Editor and the general policy followed by the RFC Editor.
>>> It is within the IAB's prerogative to decide whether it wants
>>> to delegate the finer details of that work to a committee,
>>> e.g. RSOC. As nobody seemed to have any issue with the
>>> wording, it's easier for me to skip that debate.
> But this is exactly where Joel's #4 comes in.
>>> The IAB runs various programs (you used the term project);
>>> one of which is for the RFC Editor function. The RSOC cannot
>>> remain as an IAB program and be integrated into the RFC
>>> Editor function at the same time. It seems that the IAB wants
>>> to spin off the program as a committee; another I* body. As
>>> that raises questions that nobody wants to answer (one could
>>> argue that it is too early to ask the question), the model
>>> goes through twists and turns to get there.
> Yes, exactly.  And:
> I claim that the IAB can't have it both ways: it is either an
> IAB Program or it is a committee that is part of the RFC Editor
> function.  
> (i) If it is the former, then there should be no IAOC budget
> item for the RSOC -- it is either budgeted as part of the RFC
> Editor Function or it is part of the IAB budget.  
> (ii) If it is the latter, then the text of the document is
> correct but some of the assumptions about things that the RSOC
> can do, perhaps subject to IAB approval (see Joel's #2 and #3
> above).  But it is not clear that the IAB Charter allows the IAB
> to create a semi-independent committee and delegate the
> authority to it to oversee the RFC Editor function.   In
> addition, it is not clear that good sense, the potential for
> conflicts of interest, etc., permit the RSOC to be part of the
> RFC Editor function (including having a budget proposed and
> overseen by the RSE) if it is also to oversee the RFC Editor
> function.
> So, Joel, if the answer is "IAB Program", then anything that
> implies that the RSOC is part of the RFC Editor Function,
> including especially the discussion of IAOC budgeting in Section
> 4.2, has to be revised.

I think this conundrum explains why I don't think that the "IAB Program"
model is the correct one. I haven't deviated from the view I formed in
Beijing that the RSOC should be a stand-alone committee within the
RFC Editor function, collaborating with the IAOC and reporting to the
IAB (and the community) as needed. I see nothing in the IAB charter to
forbid this.


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