[rfc-i] what about draft-peterson-informational-normativity ?

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Wed Aug 20 13:30:08 PDT 2014

On 21/08/2014 07:50, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) wrote:
> On 8/20/14, 12:34 PM, Peterson, Jon wrote:
>> When I wrote this (terrifyingly seven years ago now), this was a bit of a
>> pain point for us on the IESG, as we were seeing a lot of needless
>> normative references and the down ref procedures were relatively new and
>> exotic.
>> The reaction, if I recall, was that this wasn't enough of a problem for
>> the community as a whole for it to rise above a "meh." No one expressed
>> any grievances with content (albeit a few people found the snarky
>> "informational-normativity" draft title unhelpful), but there was no fire
>> under it.
>> If this would solve some problem today, I could certainly reissue the
>> draft, and fix the examples that seem to have been swallowed in malformed
>> CDATAs or something. But otherwise I'm happy to let it rest eternally in
>> the graveyard of "meh."
> I don't know about general community appetite, but I can certainly
> attest that this would make my life as RSE easier if I had acceptable
> definitions to the terms you clarify in the draft.

The problem is that normativity is one of those things that is
hard to define precisely, but we know it when we see it. Except that
different people see it slightly differently, which I suspect is why
it ended up in the 'meh' category. But the result is that each IESG
has to rediscover this issue for itself.

There's a closely related question which is: when does document X
formally update document Y? A document that adds something to Y might
or might not formally update it. Does a reader of Y now need to read
X as well? (In other words, is X a retrospective normative reference
for Y?) I could give you a current example of this where opinions

I remember liking Jon's draft when it first came out. It still looks
useful to me (even though "normativity" still isn't in my dictionary).


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