Re: [Gendispatch] I-D Action: draft-nottingham-where-does-that-come-from-00.txt

Eliot Lear <lear@cisco.com> Mon, 15 March 2021 13:15 UTC

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From: Eliot Lear <lear@cisco.com>
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Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 14:14:52 +0100
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Cc: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>, "gendispatch@ietf.org" <gendispatch@ietf.org>, "Salz, Rich" <rsalz@akamai.com>
To: Christian Huitema <huitema@huitema.net>
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] I-D Action: draft-nottingham-where-does-that-come-from-00.txt
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Hi Christian,

> On 15 Mar 2021, at 05:23, Christian Huitema <huitema@huitema.net> wrote:
> 
> I am not sure that I agree with Mark. Or at least not entirely. Yes, the way we publish documents is confusing. But I am not sure that Mark's proposal is the best we can do.
> 

I’m not sure that I agree with everything in Mark’s proposal either, but I think we have to agree that this is a problem that has been bothering many people for a long time.

> Mark proposes to distinguish the various categories of RFC based on the stream in which they were published. I think that this classification overlaps and partially conflicts with the nature of the RFC, i.e. the label as standard, BCP, informational and experimental. I think it is important to distinguish standards and BCP documents from the rest, and that Mark's suggestion of an IETF branding is certainly a good idea. But it is not obvious that informational documents and independent stream documents should       have different statuses, or even different branding. Similarly, it is not obvious that IRTF documents shall have different branding from informational or experimental documents from the IETF. It also seems that many IAB documents overlap with the BCP and informational categories, and that branding IAB and IETF documents differently may or may not be a good idea.
> 
These documents do have different statuses.  The only real question is how they should best be distinguished.  And we have a lot of capabilities, with which to do so.  For instance, the logo of the IETF needn’t appear on non-IETF documents.  Also, one could imagine either a water mark that indicates that something isn’t a standard, or a header or a footer along those lines.  In fact, one could imagine that even being applied retroactively to HTML!

> I am particularly sensitive to the attempt to differentiate branding of informational documents coming through the IETF and through the independent stream. One important function of the independent stream is to provide "checks and balances" to the       IETF, and ensure that minority opinions are not silenced. A strong branding differentiation would weaken this function of checks and balances, by clearly marking the minority opinions as second class citizens.
> 
I don’t think this is the distinction over which to really worry.  The bigger concern is whether or not something is an IETF standard (proposed or full).  I also don’t see the harm in indicating consensus through a visual cue such as a logo.  In fact, I could imagine some really entertaining logos to indicate obsolescence or updating.

For example, in the upper right hand corner of the display:



I’m sure that someone with more of a creative graphics sense could have even more fun.  What the logo looks like is for the IETF to decide.  That the logo can be used is for the RFC Editor process to decide. Anyway, just food for thought.  [Oh and don’t even start on the color situation! ;-]

Eliot