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

Alfred Hönes <> Sun, 25 March 2012 20:57 UTC

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From: Alfred Hönes <>
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Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2012 22:55:54 +0200
In-Reply-To: <> from Leslie Daigle at Mar "25, " 2012 "08:58:49" am
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Subject: Re: [urn] Review period ... draft-ietf-urnbis-rfc3406bis-urn-reg-02
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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.

> Leslie.
> ... [snip]
> --
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> "Reality:
>       Yours to discover."
>                                  -- ThinkingCat
> Leslie Daigle
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> urn mailing list

Kind regards,


| TR-Sys Alfred Hoenes   |  Alfred Hoenes   Dipl.-Math., Dipl.-Phys.  |
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