Editor's policy on notes about changes

John C Klensin klensin at jck.com
Mon Jul 28 05:39:25 CEST 2008


I've been thinking about lists of changes and how I'm handling
them.  I want to make some changes in the hope or getting faster
progress.  They are outlined below.  Vint obviously gets to
overrule me on this if he likes, but, until he does, this is
going to be it, at least for the two documents I'm holding the
pen on at present.

This process has been slow for several reasons.  One, obviously,
been that the list has been too quiet except for long threads on
very small issues (e.g., Frank, Eric, and I agree about the
"LDH-label" model to a first order approximation, but are having
trouble with terminology and some document integration
inconsistencies in the text.   But the other is that I'm very
reluctant to implement a change request for which the only thing
I receive is approximately "change this to that" and/or "X is
wrong" unless it is either obviously trivial (e.g., most simple
editorial errors or corrections) or something that I understand
well and have enough confidence about to make the change and
risk having to change it back.   So I'd like to make two
requests of those suggesting changes and one for everyone else:

 (1) Separate the editorial and/or obvious from the changes that
might be debatable.  I don't care whether that is grouped and
separated within a single note or separate notes and, if the
latter, whether the editorial ones are sent to the list or just
to me.

 (2) For the more complex, substantive, or debatable issues,
please try to explain why you disagree with what is there rather
than just indicating what change you think should be made.  Also
note that, if a particular comment introduces a long thread on
which the comments or suggestions don't appear to be consistent,
I'm likely to conclude that I should make changes until there is
clear convergence or Vint tells me that he sees consensus, even
if the threads are generated mostly by people repeating or
replying to themselves.

(3) For those more substantive issues, we really need
discussion.  If I see a possibly-controversial change requested
by one person with no response, I'm likely to sit on it until
I'm convinced that the group has general agreement (I'm willing
to change text and then change it back if needed, but I don't
like the idea).  If I see agreement on the list from people who
typically represent different perspectives, I'm likely to assume
that others are silent because they agree too and make the
change.  It is obvious to me that different clusters of us look
at the IDN issues (and the DNS ones) from different
perspectives, so this is not an area in which as simple "+1"
from someone whose positions are usually aligned with the author
of the original suggestion is going to carry much weight
(disagreement would).    But, in general, "no discussion" on an
issue that I believe is controversial is likely to equate to "no
change until and unless Vint generates a consensus call".

I hope that helps and is generally agreeable.   If not, I hope
we can discuss it today or tomorrow.


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