To me, this is a perfectly sensible discussion, and my
analogy was perfectly reasonable.
Joel suggested that refraining from making changes that
might result in altering phraseology that was carefully arrived
at was effectively prohibiting the technical editor from doing
the editing job. I say that the editing job can be done - as
it is being done now - within the bounds of this constraint.
I think this makes a lot of sense. The Editor makes it
very clear what his/her specific requirements and standards of
acceptability are and these are certainly taken into account
in the process of word-smithing key phraseology - in many cases
if not necessarily all (especially by the time IESG approval
occurs). At the same time, the people writing a specification
would not normally like to feel that the Editor must be a party
to word-smithing of this same key phraseology - except from the
stand-point of readability and clarity within the context of the
purpose of the document.
The concern I see being expressed in the draft is that we
want to ensure that the current practice of reasoned prudence
in making editorial changes is continued. This is a perfectly
As for emotional charge in the term "nit-picking" - I see
none. As anyone who knows me can assure you, I am the last one
in the world who will throw stones in that glass house. Since
the term derives from the practice of de-lousing, I can hardly
imagine it to be necessarily a bad thing.
Finally, ambiguity is sometimes precisely what has been
negotiated into a specification and this should be legitimate
if the effect of the ambiguity is irrelevant to the purpose of
the document. An instance of this is an example, provided not
to instruct but to illustrate functionality in the abstract.
--> -----Original Message-----
--> From: Bob Braden [mailto:braden(_at_)ISI(_dot_)EDU]
--> Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 6:43 PM
--> To: braden(_at_)ISI(_dot_)EDU; Eric(_dot_)Gray(_at_)marconi(_dot_)com
--> Cc: jmh(_at_)joelhalpern(_dot_)com; ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org
--> Subject: RE: LC on draft-mankin-pub-req-08.txt
--> *> "People should refrain from allowing their passion for precise
--> *> terminology usage to prevent essential communication from
--> *> ever taking place"
--> That statement incorporates an assumption that is not true.
--> I vaguely
--> recall that you can prove anything starting from a false premise.
--> Bob Braden
--> *> - is a far cry from -
--> *> "Nit-picking is prohibited."
--> Your choice of the emotion-packed word "nit-picking"
--> reveals that you and
--> I cannot have a sensible discussion. Is a bug in a
--> programs a nit? Is
--> bad English grammar a nit? Is ambiguous prose or terminology a nit?
--> Bob Braden
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