Margaret Wasserman mrw at
Wed Feb 19 09:30:09 CET 2003

Another thought on this point...

If it were easier to get documents to PS faster, we might
actually be able to improve them on the road to DS.  Right
now, it can be very difficult to get a WG to change a
document between PS and DS (based on implementation experience,
etc.) because it has usually been several years before the
document reaches this point, and there may be many, widely
deployed implementations that have the force of law in the

What we need is a way to:

         (1) Quickly create a stable document for a potentially
                 useful standard (this is what PS should be).
         (2) Refine that standard based on early implementation
                 and deployment experience (While it is still
                 early in the implementation and deployment!)
                 into a mature standard that is ready to be
                 widely deployed (DS).
         (3) Acknowledge that a standard is working well in
                 wide-scale deployment (FS or STD).

By creating a higher hurdle for the first step (PS) we are
actually breaking the whole process...

The entire perfection/refinement phase is happening during
the PS publication process, before we have actually determined
that the potential standard has been implemented and found
to be useful in practice.  In some cases, this is a big waste
of time, because we expend a lot of effort to "perfect"
something that never gets used.  In other cases, it is even
more damaging, because we diddle endlessly with a useful
standard, driving up the costs of its initial implementation
and deployment, and creating resistance to later changes.

It would be much healthier and more effective to use a
lighter weight process for initial publication, and to
refine and perfect standards _after_ we have the initial
implementation and deployment experience.

At this point, though, the current terminology has acquired
a great deal of baggage.  So, it might be necessary to
re-name the phases in order to change their meaning.


At 09:19 AM 2/19/2003 -0500, John C Klensin wrote:

>--On Wednesday, 19 February, 2003 20:46 +0700 Robert Elz 
><kre at munnari.OZ.AU> wrote:
>>This is also (IMO) contributing to the (IMO unreasonable)
>>demand for perfection in everything published as a PS, because
>>most people realise that for most documents, that's as far as
>>they'll ever actually go. Not because they wouldn't qualify
>>for more, but because no-one has enough interest in doing the
>>extra work.
>Let me suggest a different, but equally problematic, interpretation of the 
>same data.  If the IESG (and RFC Editor ?) insists on perfection at PS, 
>doing so sufficiently exhausts people and process that there is no energy 
>for doing the work to advance the document further.  In this model, a 
>lighter-weight approach to PS might produce somewhat weaker documents, 
>probably much more rapidly.  Such documents, and the reduced level of 
>burnout from producing them, might then provide both more incentive and 
>more energy for going to Draft.
>Same issue, same symptoms, different cause and effect hypothesis.  It is 
>probably worthwhile to document both hypotheses.
>    john

More information about the Problem-statement mailing list