Re: [urn] Review period ... draft-ietf-urnbis-rfc3406bis-urn-reg-02

Peter Saint-Andre <> Sun, 25 March 2012 23:49 UTC

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Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 01:49:29 +0200
From: Peter Saint-Andre <>
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Subject: Re: [urn] Review period ... draft-ietf-urnbis-rfc3406bis-urn-reg-02
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On 3/25/12 10:55 PM, Alfred � wrote:
> Leslie,
> please see my remarks inline below.
>> Hi,
>> This document questions the 2-week mailing list review period for
>> formal namespace registrations, suggestion 4 weeks (or possibly 8).
>> First, that process came from what was standard/accepted practice at the
>> time of writing the first document (RFC2611).  That was over a decade
>> ago -- and maybe we all read mail a little more regularly then ;-)
>> I sort of wonder if there isn't generally a better mechanism, overall.
>> What gets experts' attention these days?  Do we need an RSS feed?
>> Tweets? (!).
>> All in all, I agree that reviews don't generally happen within 2 weeks.
>>   Some of that is because the current designated expert hasn't been
>> paying adequate attention, and should be replaced.  [...]
> I think it's essential for the process to not appear to be too much
> centered on the decision-forming by the "magic" expert -- community
> review and feedback should help the expert and show the prospective
> registrants (communities) that there isn't a high-handed single
> authority (the magic Expert) at work but that some sort of community
> (IETF) consensus is emerging on what is good or less good in proposals.
> Third-party reviews and feedback on the urn-nid list IMO are needed in
> support of the expert, and it usually needs more time than the
> previous 2 weeks admit.
> If the community is not able to help the Expert within the timeframe
> expected by the procedural rules, it's not the fault of the Expert,
> and not a priori an indication that the Expert needs to be replaced.
> It's either a problem of the community or the procedural rules, or both.
> :-)
>>                                           [...]  But then, authors
>> don't come back quickly with updates, either, so there wind up being
>> iterations before things are actually signed off.  I don't actually
>> know that 4 or 8 weeks would capture that whole phase.
> Well, one important aspect seems to me that most individuals
> participating actively in the IETF are volunteers that have a day job
> to perform with varying, but frequently very high priority, and that
> the decreasing participation from acedemia (at least relative to the
> entire IETF community) means that there are more folks out there that
> cannot dedicate time to IETF purposes at their on will.
> (For comparison: I assume that many of the subscribers to the URN list
> read the messages from the list, but less than a tenth of them seem
> to read the documents and provide feedback.)
>> What I've seen (as the designated expert that needs to be replaced):
>> + namespace proposals that don't  get published as I-D's
>>   -- Step 0:  please publish this as an I-D
>> + namespace proposals that don't follow the correct version of the RFC
>>   -- authors need guidance about current version
>> + namespace proposals that need to be cleaned up in terms of having
>>   reasonable explanations in the Considerations sections
>>   -- offer guidance and repeat
>> + namespace proposals that come in through *other* IETF wgs, and never
>>   get put on the urn-nid mailing list
>>   -- need AD help to get them to the URN reviewers
> Section 4.3 (2nd half) of the document already says:
> |  Before publication can be requested, however, the draft Namespace
>    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> |  specification document must undergo an Expert Review process
> |  [RFC5226] pursuant to the guidelines written here (as well as
> |  standard RFC publication guidelines).  [...]
> |  [...]
> |                                                       The proposed
> |  template (including a pointer to a readily available copy of the
> |  registration document) should be sent to the mailing
>                           ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> |  list for review.  [...]
> |
> |  Working groups generally SHOULD seek early expert review for a
> |  Namespace definition document, before they hand it over to the IESG,
> |  and individual applicants are also advised to seek expert comments
> |  early enough.  The aforementioned list can be contacted for informal
> |  advice at any stage.
> Does that need more emphasis in the draft?
> For instance, do we need "SHOULD" or even "MUST" in place of the
> "should" in the second sentence quoted above ?
>> What I have *not* seen, surprisingly (but pleasantly):
>> + a lot of discussion about whether something really should be a URN
>> namespace.  Hurrah.
> Maybe the perceived need for third parties to seek help from some
> "guide" to the IETF processes helps, and writing an I-D seems to be
> seen as a significant hurdle already these days ...
> Nevertheless, IIRC, there _have_ been a few cases where
> "URN Namespace" vs. "URI Scheme" vs. "not in the IETF at all"
> in fact has been an issue.

Alfred, I like your emphasis on the community. However, we've also found
that it helps to have a few Designated Experts who are actively
responsible for reviewing registration requests, because sometimes the
amorphous "community" does not come together to review things at all.

I think a 2-week review period is fine. That means "someone will review
your request within 2 weeks (and raise issues or tell you it looks OK".
It does not mean "we promise that all issues raised during the review
period will be solved within 2 weeks".


Peter Saint-Andre