Readability is valuable. Of course, it should be the case that WG last call,
WG chair review, and IESG review produce something good and clean, but
history shows that this is not the case. Indeed, it is unreasonable to
expect participation at this level by non-native speakers without some
I hope that we are using copyediting services not proofreading. The skills
are different, but the costs are probably similar.
As a WG chair, I see a fair number of I-Ds come back from the RFC Editor
process. Some have been cleaned (a bit like running lint over code) and
sometimes (one in five?) a small issue of interpretation pops out. Of
course, I don't know whether this shows up in the copyedit or from the RFC
It might be valuable to consider how to constrain the copyeditor's input.
Assuming that the first 90% of the work takes the first 90% of the time, and
the other 10% of the work takes the other 90% (sic) of the time, there may
be some financial savings to be made by directing the copyeditor quite
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Crocker" <dhc2(_at_)dcrocker(_dot_)net>
To: "Fred Baker" <fred(_at_)cisco(_dot_)com>
Cc: "IAOC" <iaoc(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org>; "ietf" <ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org>
Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2008 9:46 PM
Subject: RFC Editor costs - Proofreading (was Re: My view of the IAOC
Fred Baker wrote:
> We're looking pretty hard at the RFC Editor contract, which has a
large overhead fee built into it. Stay tuned in that regard. We have
some ideas and will be doing an RFI or RFP later this year, but they
aren't sufficiently baked just yet to pass aromas around.
What follows is a topic that too-easily invites injudicious comment, so
preface by saying that I'm posting this publicly only as a means of
public comment on one particular cost: RFC draft proofreading.
After some years of hiatus, I again started working with the RFC Editor on
details of publishing some documents. So I was surprised to experience
offices of professional proofreading.
My own assessment is that it has improved the documents. The proofreaders
their own views of what is correct and that sometimes requires discussion,
mostly I consider their intervention to have a positive impact.
The question to me -- and which I am posing to everyone else -- is whether
improvement is worth the cost?
Professional proofreading is not cheap.
While we can easily cite the dangers of badly written specifications, I'll
note that we got along for a couple of decades without this extra service.
documents that get to the editor have gone through extensive reviewing. We
I think easily rely on that fact, since we successfuly did so for 25+
I'll also suggest that any strategic problems that a specification might
cannot be fixed with professional proofreading.
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