--On Friday, 07 November, 2008 12:10 -0500 Sam Hartman
It seems quite clear to me that RFC 2418 does not apply at all
to the output of an RG. From a process and consensus building
standpoint, this last call needs to be treated the same as an
individual submission, not WG output. RGs are not required to
maintain the level of openness, minutes, etc that WGs do.
Thus, they don't get the presumption of consensus that a WG
does and the comments in 2418 about last calls do not apply.
Even if a particular RG is open, it's still not a WG; just as
we would expect input from an external organization to be
treated through the individual process regardless of the
openness of that organization, we should do the same for IRTF
Because of exactly this reasoning, there was once a time that
the IAB and ISRG Chair insisted on keeping the ISRG/IETF
boundary clear by prohibiting RGs from producing standards-track
documents. If something got close to the point at which
standardization was appropriate, either (1) the document had to
be handled as an individual submission, with, at most, an
acknowledgment to the RG or (2) the RG got shut down with advice
to go through the IETF's WG chartering process. Unless my
memory is failing me, one of the people who is now advocating
giving the RG status comparable to WGs was strongly supportive
of that model.
Perhaps an RG might produce a standards-track document as an
accidental side-effect of its work and the community should be
relaxed about that under the principle of not putting rigid
rules ahead of good sense. It still wouldn't rate treatment as
a WG for the reasons Sam cites. But, if an RG starts regularly
producing candidate documents for standards track or BCPs (and I
note that this thread has led to a discussion of at least one
"companion document" for which BCP processing is expected to be
requested RSN), then it isn't doing research as its exclusive
focus any more: at least a non-trivial amount of its effort has
become protocol engineering and its close relatives.
Independent of what happens with this document, I urge the IRTF
Chair and the IAB to bring that situation under control.
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