Opened 12 years ago

Closed 11 years ago

#60 closed defect (fixed)

Arbiter of Policy

Reported by: john+rfc@… Owned by: jmh@…
Priority: major Milestone: milestone1
Component: draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-v2 Version: 1.0
Severity: Active WG Document Keywords:


(B.11) "Arbiter of policy"

Section contains the interesting sentence "The IETF
community is the arbiter of policy.". Since Section is
supposedly entirely about "Representation to the IETF", maybe
it ought to be ok (see B.8, above), but we've long taken the
position that the scope of the RFC Editor Function goes well
beyond the IETF (hence multiple streams, IAB responsibility,
etc.). A paragraph that implies, in several places (that
sentence is just the most dramatic part) that final decision
authority for policy belongs to the IETF is, at best, confusing
in that context. It also appears to contradict Section 4.3
unless one engages in hair-splitting about "implementation
decisions' and "functioning of the process" (see B.29 below).
It needs to be rewritten unless the reorganization proposed in
B.8 solves the problem.

We need to remember that the IAB, IRTF, the Independent
Submission function, and a significant part of the audience for
the RFC Series (and an even larger part over time if current
efforts to make the series more respectable as an academic
reference are successful) are not part of what we formally
describe as the IETF Community.

In this regard, see also Section 2.1.3 (not part of the
"Representation to the IETF" material), which says "...must
also specifically take into account issues raised by the IETF
community, including all the RFC Streams". Either that is
another piece of the "which community" problem or it should be
reworded to clarify. For example the text might say, "...must
also specifically take into account issues raised by any of the
RFC Streams, the IETF, or by the broader community", if that is
what was intended.

Incidentally, as one of the clarifications suggested by the
remarks in A.2 above, I note that BCP 101 makes the IASA and
IAOC responsible to the IETF, not that broader community. To
the extent to which there is an expectation of the IAOC having
any policy influence at all on the RFC Editor (I'd prefer that
be zero, but recognize I may be in the rough), this document
needs to extend that responsibility to consideration of the
broader community. Since the RFC Editor is special in other
ways, I do not believe that would necessitate updating BCP 101.

(B.13) "Internet technical community"

This term is used several times in this document. It is not
clear what it means. In contexts outside the IETF, it
definitely includes some parties that most IETF participants
would find surprising. Informal and sweeping uses such as
those in the Introduction and maybe that in are
probably ok (noting that, if one adopted the WSIS/IGF
definition and some ways of measurement, the statement in about volunteer efforts is probably just plain
false). But statements that seem to be actionable, such as
"...expected to develop a relationships with the Internet
technical community" in 2.1.4 really need to explain what that
means, if only because it would overlap with the IAB Liaison
Management role. The "Concretely" material that follows
doesn't really help because it seems to provide a definition of
"Internet technical community" in terms of "broader Internet
technical community" or perhaps "the entire Internet

I think those who are reading the rfc-interest list have
reasonable, and reasonably consistent, intuitions about what
these terms and distinctions mean but, to an outsider or
potential RSE candidate who is trying to understand the
definition of and requirements for the role, it just looks

Change History (3)

comment:1 Changed 11 years ago by Bernard_Aboba@…

  • Owner set to jmh@…

comment:2 Changed 11 years ago by jmh@…

Replaced in working draft with text agreed on rfc-interest list.

comment:3 Changed 11 years ago by jmh@…

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