Minutes interim-2020-rfcefdp-02: Wed 06:00
RFC Editor Future Development
||Minutes interim-2020-rfcefdp-02: Wed 06:00
The chair opened the meeting with the usual Note Well. We then
proceeded to bash the agenda:
- Program overview
- What issues does the RSE decide and what issues does this group decide?
- Organizational discussion
There was no bashing.
In his introductory comments, the chair noted that our discussions
have been wide ranging, that we are still in early days, and that
it is good to have this sort of discussion at the beginning, but it
would soon be time to find rough consensus around the problem, and
begin seeking solutions. The key question he asked was from our
last meeting: at what level are we addressing the problem?
[Note the chair as reordered some of the discussion for readability]
The conversation largely focused on how we viewed the role of RSE.
What does it mean that the person is a contractor? Is this a
customer/vendor relationship or more of an integrated part of our
management? Most of the discussion, especially in the webex chat
forcused on the former. Jay gave a pretty good view of how he saw his
role, by way of example. One point Colin made was that contractors
can often be viewed in different lights depending on culture. We
examined the notion of whether the RSE is a respected member of the
community. Mark expressed the view that we do not respect each other,
and that the RSE should receive no more nor less respect than other
One common theme was that of independence. What does it mean or is it
even an appropriate means to consider the role? One value of
independence is that it permits the RSE to act when there would
otherwise not be rough consensus to do so. That can be viewed as a
benefit or a drawback. Mike noted that consensus can cause paralysis.
John Klensin made the point that our community is not in a good
position to judge editorial quality because that is not our expertise.
The group focused on this for a bit, some noting that one can hire
experts, not be one, and still maintain a customer/vendor
Does the RSE get final editorial say? Initially the group leaned
“yes”, but as Bron pointed out, the boundary betweem technical and
editorial not well defined, and the consensus seems to run the other
One area that was explored was how the process should be governed.
Before the meeting, Nevil posted a draft, in which he proposed that
this working group or something like it separate itself from the IAB,
and serve as the oversight of the RSE. Mark asked what oversight
of the working group would look like.
Another area we briefly touched upon was whether the role had to be
one person. Martin indicated that he tries to engineer away from such
models. The chair asked if he could importune Martin to explore this
a bit more on list. Martin said he would try.
We also discussed other SDOs. There was a somewhat contentious
exchange about WhatWG. The chair asked that comparisons to other
SDOs be taken to the list, that they be well grounded, so as to
avoid factual disagreements. The key point here was this question:
do we need a vaunted role when other SDOs do not have one?
The chair noted that the IAB is likely to soon appoint a co-chair
(yay!). He also noted that this would end the informal virtual
discussions, that the next discussions would be more decisional, in
line with normal working group meetings. Nevil asked that we meet
once between now and the IETF Virtual. The chair also mentioned
that he would now start driving towards more traditional means to
establish problem statements via a draft, and that such drafts might
even evolve toward solutions (to be seen). He said that he would
propose this idea on this list, and if agreed, would look for a
neutral editor who could keep things at a high level.
Thanks to Tim Wicinski for again taking Etherpad minutes, and to the
tooling team and Cindy for all of the arrangements to be able to use
the data tracker.