Re: WG Review: Effective Terminology in IETF Documents (term)

Nico Williams <> Tue, 06 April 2021 21:26 UTC

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Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2021 16:26:08 -0500
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From: Nico Williams <>
To: "Joel M. Halpern" <>
Cc: Brian E Carpenter <>,
Subject: Re: WG Review: Effective Terminology in IETF Documents (term)
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On Tue, Apr 06, 2021 at 05:10:02PM -0400, Joel M. Halpern wrote:
> On 4/6/2021 4:58 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> > Nico raises a point that has been in my mind: why is this an IETF issue,
> > since presumably it applies to all RFC streams?
> > 
> > I believe that the charter is good enough as it is, but I also believe
> > that the IESG should consider not only whether there is consensus on the
> > charter text, but also the basic question whether this issue should be
> > handled by the IETF at all, rather than by the RFC Editor. There is a
> > strong case for the latter.
> While this (terminology) could be handled on a series-wide basis, it does
> not have to be.  The IETF can adopt policies for conent of the IETF stream
> that are more restrictive than the RFC Editor.  While I think getting the
> eventual RFC Series quasi-wg to look at this is worth-while, I do not see
> why that should gate the IETF looking at the quesiton.

That's a fine answer to a question Brian did not ask.

It also doesn't address any of John Klensin's points, which I think
really do need to be addressed.

At this point I think the best compromise is for the IESG to indicate
its terminology preferences to the RSE and hope the RSE enforces them
(which, they almost certainly would).  And also maybe the IAB should
publish an RFC on terminology if they like.  And maybe we can have an
RFC asking the RSE to develop a style guide that addresses these issues.
All of those are outcomes I can get behind.