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

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Wed Aug 20 14:12:54 PDT 2014

On 8/20/14, 1:30 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> 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.

And that's my challenge - I want a consistent definition for the Series
that has a longer shelf-life than 2 years.  I may be asking for a pony,
here, but I do think it's useful for more than just the RFC Editor.

> 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
> differ.


> 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).

I suppose if folks can't agree on a definition for a known word,
creating another word to meet their needs is a creative solution. :-)


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