Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 4858
Category: Informational
H. Levkowetz
D. Meyer
Cisco/University of Oregon
L. Eggert
A. Mankin
May 2007

Document Shepherding from Working Group Last Call to Publication

Status of This Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright © The IETF Trust (2007).


This document describes methodologies that have been designed to improve and facilitate IETF document flow processing. It specifies a set of procedures under which a working group chair or secretary serves as the primary Document Shepherd for a document that has been submitted to the IESG for publication. Before this, the Area Director responsible for the working group has traditionally filled the shepherding role.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   3.  Process Description  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     3.1.  Document Shepherd Write-Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.2.  Document Shepherding during AD Evaluation  . . . . . . . .  9
     3.3.  Document Shepherding during IESG Evaluation  . . . . . . . 10
   4.  Shepherding the Document's IANA Actions  . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   5.  Document Shepherding after IESG Approval . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   6.  When Not to Use the Document Shepherding Process . . . . . . . 15
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   8.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   9.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   10. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     10.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     10.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   Appendix A.  Example Document Announcement Write-Ups . . . . . . . 18
     A.1.  Example Document Announcement Write-Up for
           draft-ietf-avt-rtp-midi-format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
     A.2.  Example Document Announcement Write-Up for
           draft-ietf-imss-ip-over-fibre-channel  . . . . . . . . . . 19

1. Introduction

Early in 2004, the IESG undertook several experiments aimed at evaluating whether any of the proposed changes to the IETF document flow process would yield qualitative improvements in document throughput and quality. One such experiment, referred to as the "PROTO process" or "PROTO" (because it was created by the "PROcess and TOols" or PROTO [PROTO] team), is a set of methodologies designed to involve working group chairs or secretaries more directly in their documents' approval life cycle. In particular, the PROTO team focused on improvements to the part of a document's life cycle that occurs after the working group and document editor have forwarded it to the IESG for publication.

By the end of 2004, the IESG had evaluated the utility of the PROTO methodologies based on data obtained through several pilot projects that had run throughout the year, and subsequently decided to adopt the PROTO process for all documents and working groups. This document describes this process.

The methodologies developed and piloted by the PROTO team focus on the working group chair or secretary as the primary Document Shepherd. The primary objective of this document shepherding process is to improve document-processing throughput and document quality by enabling a partnership between the Responsible Area Director and the Document Shepherd. In particular, this partnership has the explicit goal of enfranchising the Document Shepherd while at the same time offloading a specific part of the follow-up work that has traditionally been responsibility of the Responsible Area Director. The Responsible Area Director has tens or many tens of documents to follow, while the Document Shepherd has only a few at a time. Flowing the responsibility to the working group level can ensure more attention and more timely response.

Consequently, the document shepherding process includes follow-up work during all document-processing stages after Working Group Last Call, i.e., during AD Evaluation of a document, during IESG Evaluation, and during post-approval processing by IANA and the RFC Editor. In these stages, it is the responsibility of the Document Shepherd to track and follow up on feedback received on a document from all relevant parties.

The Document Shepherd is usually a chair of the working group that has produced the document. In consultation with the Responsible Area Director, the chairs may instead decide to appoint the working group secretary as the responsible Document Shepherd.

2. Terminology

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14, RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

3. Process Description

The document shepherding process consists of the following tasks:

  • Providing the Document Shepherd Write-Up accompanying a document that is forwarded to the IESG when publication is requested, as described in Section 3.1.
  • During AD Evaluation of the document by the Responsible Area Director, managing the discussion between the editors, the working group, and the Responsible Area Director, as described in Section 3.2.
  • During an IETF Last Call, if performed for the shepherded document, following up on community feedback and review comments.
  • During IESG Evaluation, following up on all IESG feedback ("DISCUSS" and "COMMENT" items) related to the shepherded document, as described in Section 3.3.
  • Following up on IANA and RFC Editor requests as described in Section 4 and Section 5.

The shepherd must keep the document moving forward, communicating about it with parties who review and comment on it. The shepherd must obtain the working group's consensus for any substantive proposed changes. The shepherd is the leader for the document and for the working group, and maintains a critical and technical perspective. In summary, the Document Shepherd continues to care for a shepherded document during its post-WG lifetime just as he or she has done while responsible for the document in the working group.

Before any document shepherding takes place, a single Document Shepherd MUST be identified for a document (he or she will be named in the Document Shepherd Write-Up). Frequently, the chairs and the Responsible Area Director will decide that the working group will adopt the PROTO process for all their future documents. After that decision, the chairs, in consultation with the Responsible Area Director, decide on who should act as Document Shepherd for any given document. This is typically and by default one of the chairs of the working group. In consultation with the Responsible Area Director, the chairs MAY also decide to appoint the working group secretary as Document Shepherd for a given document. The Document Shepherd SHOULD NOT be an editor of the shepherded document.

It is intended that the Document Shepherd role be filled by one person during the entire shepherding process. However, situations may occur when the Document Shepherd role may be reassigned to different persons during the lifetime of a document. It is up to the chairs and Responsible Area Director to identify situations when this may become necessary, and then consult to appoint a new Document Shepherd.

It is important to note that the document shepherding process only applies to documents that are the product of a working group. It does not apply to documents that originate elsewhere. Additionally, Section 6 discusses other instances in which the document shepherding process does not apply.

3.1. Document Shepherd Write-Up

When a working group decides that a document is ready for submission to the IESG for publication, it is the task of the Document Shepherd to complete a "Document Shepherd Write-Up" for the document.

There are two parts to this task. First, the Document Shepherd answers questions (1.a) to (1.j) below to give the Responsible Area Director insight into the working group process that applied to this document. Note that while these questions may appear redundant in some cases, they are written to elicit information that the Responsible Area Director must be aware of (to this end, pointers to relevant entries in the WG archive are helpful). The goal here is to inform the Responsible Area Director about any issues that may have come up in IETF meetings, on the mailing list, or in private communication that they should be aware of prior to IESG Evaluation of the shepherded document. Any significant issues mentioned in the questionnaire will probably lead to a follow-up discussion with the Responsible Area Director.

The second part of the task is to prepare the "Document Announcement Write-Up" that is input both to the ballot for the IESG telechat and to the eventual IETF-wide announcement message. Item number (1.k) describes the elements of the Document Announcement Write-Up.

Some examples of Document Announcement Write-Ups are included in Appendix A, and there are many more examples with subject lines such as "Protocol Action" and "Document Action" in the IETF-announce mailing list archive.

The initial template for the Document Shepherd Write-Up is included below, but changes are expected over time. The latest version of this template is available from the IESG section of the IETF web site.

   (1.a)  Who is the Document Shepherd for this document?  Has the
          Document Shepherd personally reviewed this version of the
          document and, in particular, does he or she believe this
          version is ready for forwarding to the IESG for publication?

(1.b) Has the document had adequate review both from key WG members

          and from key non-WG members?  Does the Document Shepherd have
          any concerns about the depth or breadth of the reviews that
          have been performed?

(1.c) Does the Document Shepherd have concerns that the document

needs more review from a particular or broader perspective, e.g., security, operational complexity, someone familiar with AAA, internationalization, or XML?

(1.d) Does the Document Shepherd have any specific concerns or

          issues with this document that the Responsible Area Director
          and/or the IESG should be aware of?  For example, perhaps he
          or she is uncomfortable with certain parts of the document, or
          has concerns whether there really is a need for it.  In any
          event, if the WG has discussed those issues and has indicated
          that it still wishes to advance the document, detail those
          concerns here.  Has an IPR disclosure related to this document
          been filed?  If so, please include a reference to the
          disclosure and summarize the WG discussion and conclusion on
          this issue.
   (1.e)  How solid is the WG consensus behind this document?  Does it
          represent the strong concurrence of a few individuals, with
          others being silent, or does the WG as a whole understand and
          agree with it?

(1.f) Has anyone threatened an appeal or otherwise indicated extreme

          discontent?  If so, please summarize the areas of conflict in
          separate email messages to the Responsible Area Director.  (It
          should be in a separate email because this questionnaire is
          entered into the ID Tracker.)

(1.g) Has the Document Shepherd personally verified that the

          document satisfies all ID nits?  (See
  Boilerplate checks are
          not enough; this check needs to be thorough.  Has the document
          met all formal review criteria it needs to, such as the MIB
          Doctor, media type, and URI type reviews?  If the document
          does not already indicate its intended status at the top of
          the first page, please indicate the intended status here.

(1.h) Has the document split its references into normative and

          informative?  Are there normative references to documents that
          are not ready for advancement or are otherwise in an unclear
          state?  If such normative references exist, what is the
          strategy for their completion?  Are there normative references
          that are downward references, as described in [RFC3967]?  If
          so, list these downward references to support the Area
          Director in the Last Call procedure for them [RFC3967].

(1.i) Has the Document Shepherd verified that the document's IANA

          Considerations section exists and is consistent with the body
          of the document?  If the document specifies protocol
          extensions, are reservations requested in appropriate IANA
          registries?  Are the IANA registries clearly identified?  If
          the document creates a new registry, does it define the
          proposed initial contents of the registry and an allocation
          procedure for future registrations?  Does it suggest a
          reasonable name for the new registry?  See [RFC2434].  If the
          document describes an Expert Review process, has the Document
          Shepherd conferred with the Responsible Area Director so that
          the IESG can appoint the needed Expert during IESG Evaluation?

(1.j) Has the Document Shepherd verified that sections of the

document that are written in a formal language, such as XML code, BNF rules, MIB definitions, etc., validate correctly in an automated checker?

(1.k) The IESG approval announcement includes a Document

Announcement Write-Up. Please provide such a Document Announcement Write-Up. Recent examples can be found in the "Action" announcements for approved documents. The approval announcement contains the following sections:

Technical Summary

Relevant content can frequently be found in the abstract and/or introduction of the document. If not, this may be an indication that there are deficiencies in the abstract or introduction.

Working Group Summary

Was there anything in the WG process that is worth noting? For example, was there controversy about particular points or were there decisions where the consensus was particularly rough?

Document Quality

             Are there existing implementations of the protocol?  Have a
             significant number of vendors indicated their plan to
             implement the specification?  Are there any reviewers that
             merit special mention as having done a thorough review,
             e.g., one that resulted in important changes or a
             conclusion that the document had no substantive issues?  If
             there was a MIB Doctor, Media Type, or other Expert Review,
             what was its course (briefly)?  In the case of a Media Type
             Review, on what date was the request posted?


             Who is the Document Shepherd for this document?  Who is the
             Responsible Area Director?  If the document requires IANA
             experts(s), insert 'The IANA Expert(s) for the registries
             in this document are <TO BE ADDED BY THE AD>.'

The Document Shepherd MUST send the Document Shepherd Write-Up to the Responsible Area Director and together with the request to publish the document. The Document Shepherd SHOULD also send the entire Document Shepherd Write-Up to the working group mailing list. If the Document Shepherd feels that information which may prove to be sensitive, may lead to possible appeals, or is personal needs to be written up, it SHOULD be sent in direct email to the Responsible Area Director, because the Document Shepherd Write-Up is published openly in the ID Tracker. Question (1.f) of the Write-Up covers any material of this nature and specifies this more confidential handling.

The Document Shepherd Write-Up is entered into the ID Tracker [IDTRACKER] as a "Comment". The name and email address of the Document Shepherd are entered into the ID Tracker, currently as a "Brief Note" (this may change in the future). The email address of the Document Shepherd MUST also be added to the "State or Version Change Notice To" field (typically the email addresses of all working group chairs, authors, and the secretary will be added).

Entering the name and email of the Document Shepherd into the ID Tracker is REQUIRED to ensure that he or she will be copied on the email exchange between the editors, chairs, the IESG, the IESG secretariat, IANA, and the RFC Editor during the review and approval process. There are still manual steps required for these parties to ensure that they include the Document Shepherd, but it is hoped that in the future, automated tools will ensure that Document Shepherds (and others) receive necessary communications.

The contact information for the Document Shepherd is also important for the Gen-ART team [GEN-ART], area directorates, and other review teams, so they can know to whom to address reviews, in addition to the Responsible Area Director.

3.2. Document Shepherding during AD Evaluation

The steps for document shepherding during AD Evaluation are as follows:

   (2.a)  The Responsible Area Director reads, evaluates, and comments
          on the document, as is the case when not using the document
          shepherding process.  If the Responsible Area Director
          determines that the document is ready for IESG Evaluation, he
          or she indicates this to the Document Shepherd and the
          document shepherding process continues as described in
          Section 3.3.

(2.b) If the Responsible Area Director has identified issues with a

document that must be addressed before IESG Evaluation can commence, he or she sends a full evaluation to the Document Shepherd and SHOULD also enter the review into the ID Tracker.

(2.c) The Document Shepherd reads the AD Evaluation comments, making

very certain that all comments are understood, so that it is possible to follow up on them with the editors and working group. If there is some uncertainty as to what is requested, this SHOULD be resolved with the Responsible Area Director.

(2.d) The Document Shepherd sends the AD Evaluation comments to the

editors and to the working group mailing list, in order to have a permanent record of the comments. It is RECOMMENDED that the Document Shepherd solicit from the editors an estimate on when the required changes will be completed and a revised document can be expected. Working groups that use issue tracking SHOULD also record the issues (and eventually their resolution) in their issue tracker.

(2.e) During the production of a revised document that addresses the

AD Evaluation comments, it is RECOMMENDED that the editors keep a list showing how each comment was addressed and what the revised text is. It is RECOMMENDED that this list be forwarded to the Responsible Area Director together with the revised document.

(2.f) In the event that the editors or working group disagrees with

a comment raised by the Responsible Area Director or has previously considered and dismissed the issue, the Document Shepherd MUST resolve the issue with the Responsible Area Director before a revised document can be submitted.

(2.g) The Document Shepherd iterates with the editors (and working

group, if required) until all outstanding issues have been resolved and a revised document is available. At this point, the Document Shepherd notifies the Responsible Area Director and provides him or her with the revised document, the summary of issues, and the resulting text changes.

(2.h) The Responsible Area Director verifies that the issues he or

she found during AD Evaluation are resolved in the revised version of the document by starting the process described in this section at step (2.a).

(2.i) If the document underwent an IETF Last Call and the AD

concludes that significant issues were raised during the Last Call, then steps (2.b) through (2.h) need to be applied addressing the Last Call issues. This requires the Responsible Area Director to present to the Document Shepherd those Last Call issues raised only to the IESG.

3.3. Document Shepherding during IESG Evaluation

During IESG Evaluation of a document, ADs can bring forward two kinds of remarks about a document: DISCUSS items and COMMENT items. A DISCUSS blocks a document's approval process until it has been resolved; a COMMENT does not. This section details the steps that a Document Shepherd takes to resolve any DISCUSS and COMMENT items brought forward against a shepherded document during IESG Evaluation.

Note that DISCUSS and COMMENT items are occasionally written in a manner that makes their intent unclear. In these cases, the Document Shepherd SHOULD start a discussion with the ADs who brought the items up to clarify their intent, keeping the Responsible Area Director informed. If this fails to clarify the intent, the Responsible Area Director may need to work towards a clarification inside the IESG.

(3.a) Leading up to the IESG conference call, the Document Shepherd

may see emails about the document from directorate reviewers on behalf of one or more ADs and also emailed copies of DISCUSS and COMMENT items entered into the ID Tracker. The Document Shepherd SHOULD immediately begin to work on resolving DISCUSS and COMMENT items with the ADs who have raised them, keeping the Responsible Area Director copied on the email exchange, so that he or she is able to support the activity during the conference call. When dealing with directorate reviews, the Document Shepherd MUST involve the ADs to whom these directorates report to ensure that these ADs consider the review comments that need resolving.

(3.b) Immediately following the conference call, when the document

changes state from the "IESG Evaluation" state to one of the states requiring Document Shepherd action, e.g., "IESG Evaluation: Revised ID Needed" or "IESG Evaluation: AD Followup", the Document Shepherd will receive email. A state of "AD Followup" typically signifies the Responsible Area Director's hope that a resolution may be possible through a continued discussion or (more usually) through a small set of changes as "Notes to the RFC Editor".

Note that there may be very exceptional cases when DISCUSS items are registered after an IESG conference call. In these cases, the AD who has raised the DISCUSS MUST notify the Document Shepherd about it. (The notification facility in the ID Tracker is very convenient for this purpose and also for the cases where the DISCUSS and COMMENT items are updated after they are partially resolved.)

(3.c) The Document Shepherd then queries the ID Tracker to collect

the remaining DISCUSS and COMMENT items raised against the document. The Document Shepherd analyzes these items and initializes contact with the ADs who have placed them. The Responsible Area Director MUST be copied on all correspondence related to active DISCUSS or COMMENT items. This does not place the Responsible Area Director in the critical path towards a resolution, but should keep him or her informed about the state of the discussion.

          +-------+              +-------+               +-------+
          | (3.b) | -----------> | (3.c) | ------------> | (3.d) |
          +-------+  Comments    +-------+   Comments    +-------+
                     collected    /|\  |    understood
                                   |   |
                                   |   | Comments not fully understood
                                   |   | (Further AD/Document Shepherd
                                   |   |  discussion required)

(3.d) The Document Shepherd then coordinates the resolution of

DISCUSS and COMMENT items and builds a consistent interpretation of the comments. This step is similar to much of the process described in Section 3.2.

          +-------+                  +-------+
          | (3.c) | ---------------> | (3.d) |
          +-------+    Consistent    +-------+
             /|\     interpretation      |
              |                          | Further AD/Document Shepherd
              |                          | discussion required

(3.e) The Document Shepherd then communicates the DISCUSS and

COMMENT items to the document editors and the working group, alerting them of any changes to the document that have accumulated during IESG processing, such as "Notes to the RFC Editor". If any changes will be substantive, the Document Shepherd, in consultation with the Responsible Area Director, as during other stages, MUST confirm working group consensus or sometimes even IETF consensus.

(3.f) After the editors resolve the DISCUSS and COMMENT items, the

Document Shepherd reviews the resulting new version of the document, which will be a revised document, a set of "Notes to the RFC Editor", or both, using his or her technical expertise to ensure that all raised DISCUSS and COMMENT issues have been resolved.

Note that the Document Shepherd MAY also suggest resolutions to DISCUSS and COMMENT items, enter them into an issue tracker, or perform other steps to streamline the resolution of the evaluation comments. It is very important to resolve the comments in a timely way, while the discussion is current for everyone involved.

(3.g) When the Document Shepherd is satisfied that the revised

document addresses the evaluation comments, he or she communicates the resolution to the Responsible Area Director and the ADs that had raised the DISCUSS and COMMENT items.

(3.h) Each AD who had raised a DISCUSS checks whether the

communicated resolution addresses his or her items. If it does, the AD will clear the DISCUSS. If it does not, the AD notifies the Document Shepherd and adds information to the ID Tracker explaining why the DISCUSS was not resolved. The Document Shepherd informs the working group accordingly. (COMMENT items need not be checked and cleared, because they do not block the document, but ADs are encouraged to do so.)

If a DISCUSS was not resolved to the satisfaction of the AD that has raised it or the Responsible Area Director, two possibilities exist:

          (a)  The process returns to step (3.d), or

(b) If no progress can be made on the resolution of the

DISCUSS with the AD who has raised it, despite repeated clarifications and discussions, the Responsible Area Director should take over continued shepherding of the document. Such a situation may be indicative of larger issues that the PROTO process was not designed to handle.

Once the process above has cleared all DISCUSS items, document shepherding continues with step (3.i).

(3.i) The Responsible Area Director moves the document to the

"Approved - Announcement to be sent" state in the ID Tracker. If he or she deems the changes to the revised document significant, there may be a new WG Last Call, or possibly a new IETF Last Call. The document goes through a new full IESG Evaluation process if there is a new IETF Last Call.

4. Shepherding the Document's IANA Actions

IETF working group documents often include considerations requiring actions by the IANA, such as creating a new registry or adding information to an existing registry, perhaps after consulting an IESG-appointed Expert. Sometimes the Document Shepherd must keep track of certain IANA actions to be completed by the IESG, such as ratifying the appointment of a designated Expert called for in the IANA Considerations. IANA-related processing may also include a specified type of Expert review, such as review of proposed MIME media types on the designated ietf-types mailing list.

The IANA reviews IETF documents and requests responses at any or all of the following times: in response to IETF Last Call, during the IESG Evaluation review of the document, and at the time when the IANA performs actions in its web-based registry for the document, usually but not always after IESG approval of the document. More details of the IANA process and IETF interaction are found in [RFC2434].

At the time of this publication, RFC 2434 is under revision [RFC2434bis], and the updates are and will be of value to the Document Shepherd. Note that the Document Shepherd MUST determine (by individual review and consultation with others) what is the most recent and the most applicable IANA information and guidance for his or her document, be it the overall guidance, or external documents in his or her area, or in other areas. An example of an external document is [RFC4020].

Whenever an IANA request comes, during whatever phase of the shepherding process, the requester from IANA MUST ensure that the Document Shepherd and the Responsible Area Director both receive the request. The Document Shepherd is responsible for responding as rapidly as possible. He or she should discuss requests that introduce any possible concerns with the working group. The Document Shepherd and the Responsible Area Director may decide in consultation that an IANA request leads to a change that needs additional review or approval.

In general, the Document Shepherd ensures that the IANA process completes, checks that the registry is correct and that the IANA Matrix ( is complete and consistent, and troubleshoots when all is not well. At the end of IANA processing, the Document Shepherd should be sure that the RFC Editor has acknowledged IANA conclusion, i.e., that the handoff has been made.

In summary, the task of shepherding the IANA actions is often overlooked, but is as important to coordinate and manage as all the other document reviews the Document Shepherd has managed. As with those, the Document Shepherd contributes greatly to quality and timeliness of the document by effective and responsive shepherding of the IANA requests.

5. Document Shepherding after IESG Approval

After the IESG Evaluation and resolution described in Section 3.3, the IESG approves the document, and the Responsible Area Director uses the ID Tracker to ask for any final changes to the Document Announcement Write-Up and for it to be issued. The Document Shepherd may have some edits for the Responsible Area Director, such as minor "Notes to the RFC Editor", and this is the time to consult and provide them.

The IESG approval announcement goes to the general community and to the RFC Editor, and now the Document Shepherd (identified in the Announcement Write-Up) continues to shepherd the document through its technical publication. The RFC Editor currently makes a number of types of requests to the authors, Document Shepherd and Responsible Area Director. The Document Shepherd SHOULD lead in responding to the RFC Editor and shepherd the document during the post-approval period to its publication.

The RFC Editor request types include: editorial queries about dangling or missing informative and normative citations (good shepherding should try to catch these earlier, but they happen); requests for the document source (e.g., XML or nroff); occasional technical comments; and copy-edits for review and close scrutiny by the authors (AUTH48). For the latter, the Document Shepherd SHOULD lead in checking that copy-edits have in no case affected a consensus wording of the working group that prepared the document, and SHOULD bring speed to this checking by multiple coauthors. The Document Shepherd also consults with the Responsible Area Director on reviewing proposed post-approval changes to the document by any author. These may require Area Director approval, and they often need to be presented to the working group for consent if not a full consensus procedure.

As in other phases of document shepherding, the Document Shepherd provides attentiveness and timeliness by serving as the informed representative of the document and helping its advancement and its integrity.

6. When Not to Use the Document Shepherding Process

As mentioned in Section 3, the Document Shepherd SHOULD NOT be an editor of the shepherded document. If this cannot be avoided by making another working group chair or secretary the Document Shepherd, the document shepherding process SHOULD NOT be used. There are several other cases in which the document shepherding process SHOULD NOT be used. These include:

  1. Cases where the Document Shepherd is the primary author or editor of a large percentage of the documents produced by the working group.
  1. Cases where the Responsible Area Director expects communication difficulties with the Document Shepherd (either due to experience, strong views stated by the Document Shepherd, or other issues).
  1. Cases where the working group itself is either very old, losing energy, or winding down (i.e., cases where it would not be productive to initiate new processes or procedures).

Finally, note that other cases exist in which using the document shepherding process may not be productive. The final determination as to whether or not to use the document shepherding process is left to the Responsible Area Director. If the document shepherding process is not used, the Responsible Area Director acts as Document Shepherd, per the existing procedures of shepherding by Area Directors.

7. Security Considerations

This document specifies a change to IETF document-processing procedures. As such, it neither raises nor considers protocol- specific security issues.

8. IANA Considerations

This document creates no new requirements on IANA namespaces or other IANA requirements.

9. Acknowledgments

This document is the product of the PROTO team, which includes the authors as well as Bill Fenner, Barbara Fuller, and Margaret Wasserman. Aaron Falk worked actively in PROTO until the start of 2006 and worked on earlier versions of the document.

The Document Shepherd Write-Up originated in an idea by John Klensin. Thomas Narten and Margaret Wasserman implemented it for the entire Internet Area, and their template was the basis of the version used today.

Colin Perkins wrote the original Document Announcement Write-Up for draft-ietf-avt-rtp-midi-format included in Appendix A.1. David Black wrote the original Document Announcement Write-Up for draft-ietf-imss-ip-over-fibre-channel included in Appendix A.2. Both original announcements have been modified to reflect changes to the Document Announcement Write-Up template since they were written.

Frank Ellermann and Olafur Gudmundsson have suggested improvements to the document during IETF Last Call.

10. References

10.1. Normative References

   [RFC2119]     Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
                 Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

10.2. Informative References

   [RFC4020]     Kompella, K. and A. Zinin, "Early IANA Allocation of
                 Standards Track Code Points", BCP 100, RFC 4020,
                 February 2005.
   [RFC2434]     Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing
                 an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26,
                 RFC 2434, October 1998.
   [RFC3967]     Bush, R. and T. Narten, "Clarifying when Standards
                 Track Documents may Refer Normatively to Documents at a
                 Lower Level", BCP 97, RFC 3967, December 2004.
   [RFC2434bis]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing
                 an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", Work in
                 Progress, March 2007.
   [IDTRACKER]   "The IETF Internet-Draft Tracker", Web
                 Application:, 2002.
   [PROTO]       "The IESG PROcess and TOols (PROTO) Team", Web
                 Page:, 2004.
   [GEN-ART]     "The General Area Review Team (GEN-ART)", Web Page:
                 review-guidelines.html, 2005.

Appendix A. Example Document Announcement Write-Ups

This appendix includes two examples of Document Announcement Write- Ups. Many more examples with Subject lines such as "Protocol Action" and "Document Action" can be found in the IETF-announce mailing list archive.

A.1. Example Document Announcement Write-Up for


   Technical Summary

These documents define the RTP Payload format for MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), and additional guidelines on implementation specifically concerning the timing of reception and transmission for best performance in different applications. MIDI is a real-time media, which however is brittle to losses and errors. Therefore the RTP payload format defines recovery journals as a way of avoiding persistent audible errors, and discusses congestion control handling for these journals.

The RTP payload for MIDI encodes the broad range of MIDI commands. The format is suitable for interactive applications (such as network musical performance) and content-delivery (such as file streaming).

   Working Group Summary

There is consensus in the WG to publish these documents.

   Document Quality

This RTP Payload format has been implemented during the development of the specification and successfully tested over an IP network between two remote sites, thus showing that the technical solution is successfully working. It has been reviewed by the MIDI Manufacturers Association and their comments have been addressed.


Magnus Westerlund and Colin Perkins jointly shepherded this document. Allison Mankin reviewed the document for the IESG, including a careful review with the editor of the media types, in parallel with ietf-types list review requested on 2006-01-08, which raised no issues.

A.2. Example Document Announcement Write-Up for


   Technical Summary

This document specifies the encapsulation of IPv6, IPv4 and ARP packets over Fibre Channel. This document also specifies the methods for forming IPv6 link-local addresses and statelessly autoconfigured IPv6 addresses on Fibre Channel networks, and a mechanism to perform IPv4 address resolution over Fibre Channel networks. This document (when published as RFC) obsoletes RFC2625 and RFC3831.

   Working Group Summary

This document has been reviewed by Fibre Channel experts in Technical Committee T11 (Fibre Channel standards organization) in addition to members of the IMSS WG. There is solid support for this document both in the WG and from T11.

   Document Quality

This document replaces and consolidates two separate RFCs on IPv4 over Fibre Channel (RFC 2625) and IPv6 over Fibre Channel (RFC 3831). Most of its technical content is unchanged from those RFCs. The technical changes that have been made are primarily based on implementation experience.


The protocol has been reviewed for the IESG by David L. Black (WG chair). Bert Wijnen has reviewed this document for the IESG. In addition, Brian Haberman has done a review for the INT Area as requested by WG-chair (David Black) via Margaret Wasserman.

Authors' Addresses

   Henrik Levkowetz
   Torsgatan 71
   Stockholm  S-113 37
   Phone: +46 708 32 16 08
   David Meyer
   1225 Kincaid St
   Eugene, OR  97403
   Phone: +1 541 346 1747
   Lars Eggert
   Nokia Research Center
   P.O. Box 407
   Nokia Group  00045
   Phone: +49 50 48 24461
   Allison Mankin
   Phone: +1-301-728-7199

Full Copyright Statement

Copyright © The IETF Trust (2007).

This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.


Intellectual Property

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