Opened 12 years ago

Closed 11 years ago

#58 closed defect (fixed)

Editorial Issues

Reported by: john+rfc@… Owned by: jmh@…
Priority: minor Milestone: milestone1
Component: draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-v2 Version: 1.0
Severity: In WG Last Call Keywords:


(B.2) Editorial: Abstract

  • "persons" should almost certainly be "people".

(B.4) Editorial: Section 1

  • 'The definition of the RFC series is described in RFC 4844

[RFC4844]. Section 3.1 defines "RFC Editor":'

A definition isn't described. You are either defining
something or describing it. I think, from the text, it is
the latter, but would be happy to see a definition. So,

'The RFC series is described in RFC 4844 [RFC4844]. Its

Section 3.1 describes "RFC Editor":'

  • 'In discussion with the Internet community, the IAB

considered changes that increase flexibility and
operational support options, provides for the orderly
succession of the RFC Editor, and ensures the
continuity of the RFC series, while maintaining RFC
quality, maintaining timely processing, ensuring
document accessibility, reducing costs, and increasing
cost transparency.'

At least "provides" should be "provide". But this is the
sort of monumental sentence I'm often accused (correctly)
of writing. It would be improved by more selective
punctuation or, better, by breaking into two or three

  • 'The RSE, and the IAB, through the RFC oversight committee

(see Section 3.1), will... and recognizes'

That would read much more clearly if rewritten to

'The RSE and the IAB (through the RFC Oversight Committee;

see Section 3.1), will... and recognize'

(B.7) Editorial, Section 2.1.1

  • "brought to the IAD" should be "brought to the attention of

the IAD"

  • "for the RFC Series' continuity" should be "for continuity of

the RFC Series" unless one is going to personify the

  • The antecedent for "these functions" in "Vendor selection for

these functions" is unclear. Try "Vendor selection for the
Production and Publisher functions" (Again, see B.26.)

(B.9) Editorial: Section

  • The first sentence does not parse. In particular,

"producing individual RFCs (which are worked with the RFC
Production..." just isn't English.

  • In the third paragraph, "certain principles must be

understood..." would be lots more clear if the description
of those principles were identified. I.e., try "certain
principles, described in the following subsections, must
be understood..."

  • "provides for" not "provides in"

(B.12) RSE personally responsible for executing on external

Section says "From time to time, individuals or
organizations external to the IETF need a contact person to
talk to about the RFC Series. The RSE is that individual".
This is a bad plan -- the RSE should be able to delegate or
reassign that function when appropriate or necessary even while
remaining as the first and default point of contact.

Editorial: s/awareness of the series, and to/awareness of the
series, to/

(B.16) The list in 2.1.6 should be extended to include
"Demonstrated ability to participate in, and manage, activities
by email and teleconferences, not just face to face meetings"
or words to that effect. Without it, there are some odds of
attracting and recruiting someone (as one organization in the
"Internet technical community" has done) who basically doesn't
like or use the Internet. This section should be reordered so
that anything "desired" (e.g., #7, Experience as an RFC author)
comes after the requirements.

(B.17) Section 2.1.7, Conflict of Interest, is hard to parse.
Suggested rewrite:

"The RSE is expected to avoid even the appearance of
conflicts of interest or judgment with other roles or with
parties subject to his or her oversight. In particular,
the RSE is barred from having any ownership, advisory, or
other relationship to the vendors executing the
Publication or Production functions except as specified
elsewhere in this document. If necessary, an exception
can be made after public disclosure of those relationships
and with the explicit permission of the IAB and IAOC."

If we are really serious about Conflicts of Interest, we should
prohibit the RSE from having an outside-the-IETF-environment
(e.g., "day job") relationship in which money or similar
considerations change hands with any member of the RSOC, IAB,
or IAOC who might be involved in decisions about candidate
selection or compensation. Relationships in which the RSOC/
IAB/ IAOC member actually reported to, or was a subcontractor
of, the person holding the RSE position are the most
problematic, but the other variations could easily have the
appearance of conflicts of interest as well.

(B.19) Section 3.1, RSOC, paragraph 1

The sentence that makes up the first paragraph reads:

"The IAB is responsible for oversight over the RFC Series
and acts as a body for appeal and conflict resolution."

"Appeal" has become a loaded term, is a little bit inconsistent
with Section 4.3 of this document and some other things, and
tends to get people thinking about judicial proceedings.
Please consider rewriting this to:

"...and serves as part of the conflict resolution process
described in Section 4.3."

If you think it is necessary (I don't think it is) add to that:

"While not described here, the IAB's other responsibilities
for handling appeals within the IETF process [RFC2026] may
also have consequences for particular documents being
processed by the RFC Editor."

(B.20) Section 3.1, RSOC, paragraph 2

In the second paragraph, "oversight is informed through
subject matter experts" doesn't make obvious sense. Do you
mean "oversight includes subject matter expertise..."?

(B.21) Section 3.1, RSOC, paragraph 4

In the fourth paragraph, it is not clear what the antecedent of
"In those general cases" is. The comments about "appeal" above
apply here as well. It might even be possible to drop the
paragraph entirely as redundant with the first one.

(B.22) Section 3.1, RSOC, paragraph 5

In the fifth paragraph, "For all aspects that affect the RSE
itself..." really grates. I'd expect such a sentence in an
astrology text, but "aspect" has a different meaning there.
Would it be possible to rewrite it into plain English, ideally
without neutering the RSE?

The first bullet below that paragraph is ambiguous. Which of
the following is intended?

"perform annual reviews of the RSE and report on those
reviews to the IAB."

"perform annual reviews of the RSE and provide RSE reports
(reports provided by the RSE) to the IAB."

Either is plausible, leaving the ambiguity should not be

In the subsequent bullet,

"manage RSE candidate selection and advises the IAB..."

And no comma after "select the RSE".

(B.23) Section 3.1, RSOC, paragraph 6

In the sixth paragraph, "RSOC members are expected...", note
the interaction with the discussion in B.17 above.

(B.24) Section 3.1, RSOC, paragraph 7

"RSOC will also work with the IASA, proposing a

budget, and the remuneration and employment agreement of
the RSE position."

Needs clarification or at least punctuation. It could be
improved by rewriting it to:

"RSOC will also work with the IASA, proposing a budget,
and the remuneration and employment agreement, of the RSE

But that still isn't completely clear and may not be what you
intend. I suggest:

"For the actual recruitment and selection of the RSE, RSOC
will propose a budget for the search process, and work with
IASA to refine that budget and develop remuneration
criteria and an employment agreement or contracting plans,
as appropriate."

if that is what is actually intended.

(B.24) Section 3.1, RSOC, paragraph 10

Finally for the RSOC, "One of the first responsibilities..."
has already been noted as creating the appearance that
organizing and documenting procedures, presumably untested
ones, is more important than actually getting an RSE appointed
(or can or should block the appointment process). I suggest
rewriting to something like:

"The initial RSOC is charged with designing and executing a
solicitation, search, and selection process for the first
actual (non-transition or "acting") RSE appointment. That
process will inevitably involve iteration on this and
related documents and evaluation of various strategies and
options. The RSOC is expected to describe the process it
ultimately selects to the community and to involve the
community in interim considerations when that is likely to
be of value. Upon completion of the selection process,
the RSOC will determine the best way to share information
learned and experience gained with the community and to
determine how to best preserve that information for future

(B.30) Section 4.3, Paragraph 3. "RSE decisions of this type
are limited to..." is not clear. Perhaps something like "Final
decisions by the RSE alone are limited to..." or "The RSE may
make final decisions unilaterally only to assure..."

(B.32) Section 4.4, Editorial: The last sentence is awkward.
Perhaps: "...the IAD, as guided by the IAOC, has the
responsibility to resolve these contractual issues consistent
with the procedures specified in BCP 101 and as appropriate
under the relevant contracts."

It would be even better to get as much of this as possible out
of here, leaving a strictly IASA matter to the IASA. So, IMO,
it would be preferable to replace the entire sentence with
something like:

"The IAOC must notify the RSOC and IAB that this action is
being taken and then proceed to have it resolved according
to its applicable procedures subject to any special
provisions in the relevant contracts."

While BCP 101 makes it fairly clear that the IAOC should hand
this off to the IAD, the whole issue is a matter of IASA/IAOC
procedures that should not to be repeated here such that some
future change in those procedure by the IASA create a
contradiction with this document.

(B.33) Section 6, Security Considerations

Editorial: either "non-machine-readable originals" or
"originals that are not machine-readable". The present
construction doesn't work unless it refers to originals that
can be read by non-machines which, while true, is uselsss.

Nit: I am not sure in that context what "failure of the storage
medium" means unless someone contemplates the importance of
chiseling those originals into stone or embossing them onto
gold sheets (after either of which the copies onto new media
wouldn't be originals any more).

(B.34) The Acknowledgments need sorting out. For example,
whether the "current" listings apply to Version 1 or Version 2,
some IAB members are listed together who were never on the IAB
at the same time (unless one counts the five-day window during
the relevant transition IETF meetings). Sorting them out by
version would permit listing important contributors and
reviewers to Version 1 who otherwise should not be listed
because their contributions to version 2 occurred in
conjunction with their IAB or Editorial roles.

(B.35) While it isn't important if the Appendix is going to be
removed on publication unless a historical record is intended,
I think the various subsections of that Appendix are
"versions", not "sections", i.e., "A.1. Section 00->01" is
just wrong. Also, some of those subsections clearly address
"model version 1", but the transition clearly occurred before
A.9 (e.g., A.8 describes adding Joel as Editor, but that
clearly did not occur in the Version 1 document).

Recommendation: Either (a) decide this material is too jumbled
to have archival significance and be worth maintaining and just
drop it now or (b) Create "A.1 RFC Editor Model Version 1" and
"A.2 RFC Editor Model Version 2" and sort out subsections into
the next level accordingly, allocating everything done since
RFC 5620 was published in August 2009 to the latter.

Change History (3)

comment:1 Changed 11 years ago by Bernard_Aboba@…

  • Owner set to jmh@…

comment:2 Changed 11 years ago by jmh@…

Editorial items applied to working draft.

comment:3 Changed 11 years ago by jmh@…

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from new to closed
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