I actually have a lot of sympathy with Andrew's formulation, largely because
the document wants you to infer something rather than making it explicit.
Take this text:
2.1. The First Maturity Level: Proposed Standard
The stated requirements for Proposed Standard are not changed; they
remain exactly as specified in RFC 2026 . No new requirements are
introduced; no existing published requirements are relaxed.
The document doesn't actually say out loud there that the requirements for
Proposed Standard have been considerably increased by IESG practice over the
years, nor does it charge subsequent IESGs to return to a faithful reading
of the actual text. You can infer it from the refrain ("stated
requirements" and "published requirements"), but I don't think you could
fairly call it explicit. You can certainly get that from Russ in bar or on
a mailing list, but we normally try to write our documents such that you
don't have to have shared a bar with the author to get their real intent.
If the IESG does not choose to follow-up that inference with action, we have
effectively moved from a one step standards process pretending to be a
three-step standards process to a one step standards process pretending to
have two. That's hardly worth the electrons which have been spent in this
My personal opinion for some time has been that we ought to recognize that
the previous PS moved into "WG draft" years ago and that anything named an
RFC should be recognized as something that market will consider a standard.
(My own somewhat-tongue-in-cheek proposal was to make advancement completely
automatic, barring a stated objection, but that went nowhere.) If we are
going to try to move the goalposts for PS back and retain more than one
maturity level with the label RFC, I think we'd have a better chance of
success if we fess up that they were moved *and put into the document that
the community wants the IESG to use those and only those for PS*. Without
that, the real requirements for PS remain up to the IESG of the moment--a
matter of lore rather than documented practice.
To add one final comment, I think what little consensus we have on this is
was well characterized as "by exhaustion" in John's earlier note. It may be
no less real for that, but let's not pretend to ourselves that this is
anything but a much-needed removal of the requirement for annual review,
along with a fond hope that the future may be different from the past.
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