specific problem: standards document quality review

Erik Guttman Erik.Guttman at sun.com
Tue Feb 4 19:35:55 CET 2003

This topic has been discussed to some extent, but I request that it be
added explicitely to our WG list of open problems.

There are a growing number of expectations on internet drafts that are
passsed to the IESG for review.  Many review procedures should be done
(completed) by working groups before forwarding documents on for
advancement.  In the end the IESG is stuck checking documents for
 * clarity, spelling, English grammar
 * does the document have a security analysis at all
 * if the document passes human readable strings, does it comply 
   with IESG internationalization guidelines, RFC 2277
 * does the document have an IANA considerations section and
   if so, does it comply with RFC 2434
 * does the document separate normative and informative references
 * references (are they correct?)
 * document format issues (RFC 2223)
 * terminology (RFC 2119)
This is not a complete list.

I suggest that it is a problem that we are relying on volunteer
participation for a basic editorial function.  We do not get enough
volunteer effort in this regard, and it is something it is not
acceptable to expect the IESG to perform.  It is too time consuming.

We do not have to gripe about this.  There are ways to solve this
problem (assuming we can agree that it is one).  These examples
are meant to illustrate that the problem *can be solved* by means
other than berating editors and WG chairs, not to initiate a debate on
solutions at this point.

 - WGs can be required to get volunteers for doing this review
   in order to stay chartered

 - The IETF can *hire* a qualified technical writer to perform
   this function (working through 200 pages of internet-drafts per
   week, say).  Funding?  slightly increased conference fees, if
   money is tight.  

   EXAMPLE:  ETSI support includes an effective & competent editorial
   review and coordination staff.  The editors provide reliable and
   consistent service to the technical bodies they are assigned to.
   (see www.etsi.org)


More information about the Problem-statement mailing list