Re: Issues around sponsoring individual documents

Graham Klyne <> Tue, 09 October 2007 21:21 UTC

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Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2007 22:21:05 +0100
From: Graham Klyne <>
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To: Lisa Dusseault <>
Subject: Re: Issues around sponsoring individual documents
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Lisa Dusseault wrote:
> The Applications area does not have a lot of attendees or WGs (I oversee
> five, and of those five, three are within a document or two of
> closing).  Much of the current work is being done as individual
> submissions (abbreviated IS in this email) [0].  I'd like to get some
> input on how IS's should be handled.  I have many opinions on IS
> tradeoffs, having written several and sponsored more, but I'm trying to
> phrase these questions without entirely presupposing my own answers, and
> to reflect conflicted opinions and the criticisms I've heard.

A late response, but a couple of considerations that I don't think have been
entirely covered by the many thoughtful comments so far offered:

1. By forming a WG, there is an understanding (a contract or sorts?) that
proposals for issues described by the WG charter will be given proper
consideration, and appropriately progressed if they are of suitable quality.  An
IS has no such assurance, and as such the proposer has no ground for complaint
if the work they do is summarily dismissed.  This suggests to me that there is a
reasonable judgement a proposer may make, and that IS is not simply a "short cut".

2. In contemplating an IS, I would expect that there be a presumption that any
RFC publication (if the work is deemed worthy of such publication) would
initially be as informational or experimental rather than standards track.

These are considerations that, if suitably promoted as "health warnings"
concerning IS's, may lead proposers themselves to make reasonable judgements
about the appropriate route to follow rather than always requiring an AD to make
the decision.

> (BTW, I'm sure I can follow the advice of "Use your judgement" if anybody 
> decides to say that, but it doesn't really inform that judgement does it?  )

In terms of informing judgement... if the case for an IS isn't fairly obvious,
then I think the presumption would be to not offer support.  (My mathematical
analysis tutor would tell us "if something is obvious then either it can be
proven in three lines or it's an assumption".)  And technically, unless the
rules changed without me noticing, a document can proceed as informational RFC
without requiring IESG support, right?


Graham Klyne
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