On Thu, 1 Jun 2006, Gray, Eric wrote:
No part of the RFC Editor's "job" has ever involved
deliberate modification of text that reflects a carefully
crafted compromise position. In the past, when any such
modification has occurred inadvertently, it would usually
have been reversed during an Auth48. I believe what we're
trying to do is define what the RFC Editor does already in
terms that might allow us to off-load part of that task.
So, NO I am not saying "Don't do your job most of the
time" - what I am saying is that "restraint should be used
in this task to avoid doing more than the task requires."
To make this something we can look at more objectively,
let's look at a different example of the same usage. Surely,
you would agree that a statement such as -
"People should refrain from allowing their passion for precise
terminology usage to prevent essential communication from
ever taking place"
I think your vision of what at editor does may be a bit limited here.
You seem to be describing the zone between proofreading and copy
editing (correcting grammar, conforming to accepted style, reference
checking, etc.) but you're missing a much more important piece -
comprehensive editing. In the IETF case a document may begin with
language crafting at the WG level, move through last call, gen-art
reviews, and the IESG and still need major fine tuning for basic
readability. I'll agree with you that editorial changes to a text should
be made with an eye to intent of the authors with regard to the
*technical* content but the back-and-forth of final editorial review
should catch any substantive changes in the authors intent.
We sometimes do a good job at the layer of technical/peer review,
however, I've seen far to many documents that may be technically sound
but are poorly structured and poorly written. In addition, drafts are
often pitched to a reader already well up to speed with internal terms
so that the word choices are loaded in ways that make the document
unreadable to outsiders. Abstracts and definitions of terms are often
sketchy at best.
Pressure is applied at every level inside the IETF to advance any
given document and we NEED the combination of comprehensive editing,
copy editing, and proofreading at the RFC-Editor level in order to
produce a readable and reliable document series.
I'm with Joel here, I *want* our documents to be well written and I
believe that improving the readability of a document is a major part of
what we currently expect from our RFC-Editor process.
- is a far cry from -
"Nit-picking is prohibited."
--> -----Original Message-----
--> From: Bob Braden [mailto:braden(_at_)ISI(_dot_)EDU]
--> Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 5:17 PM
--> To: jmh(_at_)joelhalpern(_dot_)com; Eric(_dot_)Gray(_at_)marconi(_dot_)com
--> Cc: ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org
--> Subject: RE: LC on draft-mankin-pub-req-08.txt
--> *> Bearing in mind that asking someone to "refrain from"
--> *> doing something is a far cry from "prohibiting" it, see my
--> *> comment above.
--> Sorry, I don't get that fine distinction. Are you saying, "Don't
--> do your job most of the time"? Wierdness abounds here.
--> Bob Braden
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