Re: IETF, IAB, & RFC-Editor
RJ Atkinson wrote:
On 5 Jun 2006, at 02:54, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
Earlier, Ran Atkinson wrote:
It has NOT been the case in the past that IETF was the community
in control of RFC-Editor. In fact, that would represent a major,
and in many people's view highly undesirable, change.
Historically, RFC-Editor has served the broader Internet community,
including but not limited to the IETF. In fact, the RFC-Editor
has existed since the late 1960s, yet the IETF did not even exist
until the middle 1980s.
Historically, yes. But I think we're discussing the future.
Nevertheless, I personally support the existence of an independent
submission mechanism, as part of a general pattern of checks and
However, I'd like to ask for a definition of "the broader Internet
community." Since about 1995, the Internet has been a public access
network, so I could interpret the phrase as referring to several hundred
million people at this point. Since the IETF is open to all, I'm
puzzled how to draw a line around "the broader Internet community" that
is meaningfully different from the IETF/IRTF/IAB community but
less than the entire on-line population.
It is a fair question. Different people might have slightly
different formulations, but I don't think that those would be
Here is a starting point for a definition...
I think that "the broader Internet community" at least includes
folks around the world who are engaged in (non-IAB, non-IRTF,
and non-IETF) Internet research and development or are academics
otherwise involved with the Internet (e.g. through educating college
I wouldn't want to exclude the operational and implementer community
either. I think the phrase used in draft-iab-rfc-editor is probably
the best short form: "the Internet research and engineering
community." Note of course that there is no way to list off the
names of that community, and any one of them would be a welcome
That collective group is not nearly several hundred
million people. Further, that group also has a RFC Editor relationship
that long predates the existence of IETF/IRTF -- and also has a
current active relationship with the RFC-Editor that is separate
from the IETF/IRTF. Their needs primarily relate to a substantial
and workable mechanism for individual submissions to actually get
published in a timely manner. As the IETF has become MUCH more
commercially influenced over the past ~10-15 years, the non-product
perspectives that such people often bring to the published RFC
document series is increasingly important to the overall health
of the Internet. IMHO.
It is not an accident that the criteria for candidates
for IAB are different than for IESG. In my experience, and I'm told
that this is not a strange perspective, the IAB functions best when
IAB has several members who come from the non-commercial R&D/Academic
communities -- particularly members who are not particularly involved
in IETF standards activities. Those folks can bring a fresh,
non-commercial perspective to IAB functions, including but not limited
to advice to the IETF/IRTF or input to the RFC-Editor function.
Historically, such folks have often done so. As an example,
Jon Crowcroft did a wonderful job, yet had not been active in IETF
prior to his appointment to the IAB. Of course, he was already
quite well known for his Internet research before then. For some years,
I've been making this same general observation to the Nominating
Ietf mailing list