Author: David Farmer
Submitted On: 30 December 2009
As I have been working on policy proposals and digging into the NRPM lately, I have notices several minor inconsistencies in Style for the NRPM and the policies contained in it.
I believe it would be helpful for the community if there were style guide or style sheet for the NRPM.
More consistency in the style for the policy contained in the NRPM could only help in the readability and understandability of ARIN Policy.
Providing style feedback could be included in the Clarity & Understanding step of the PDP as clear and consistent style should help the community understand a Policy Proposal better.
Updated: 27 July 2010
27 July 2010
ARIN staff has assembled a draft style guide. We're giving it to the Advisory Council (AC) first because they have the job of crafting the actual policy text that goes into the NRPM. The guide will be placed on the AC's wiki for their use, review and revision. ARIN staff will also be able to consult the guide when conducting Clarity and Understanding reviews (and staff assessments).
It may happen that the AC likes the guide enough to ask that it be put on the public site. ARIN staff would have to place the guide on the public site carefully, so that it is not inferred that these are mandatory rules for proposals. A valid proposal from the community can simply be a rough idea for a new policy or a change in policy.
Thank you for participating in the ARIN Consultation and Suggestion Process. This suggestion is now considered closed.
14 January 2010
This is in response to your suggestion noted below and assigned number 2009.23.
We need to have more discussion about this. You are correct that there are different styles in the NRPM. The NRPM is a compilation of text from dozens of different people, written over a timeframe that's now longer than a dozen years.
Regarding current inconsistencies. ARIN staff has been been suggesting and making editorial updates to the NRPM, according to established procedure with the AC and the Board. We find things, and folks submit things to us, and we add them to a list of possible updates. We published a new NRPM yesterday that included several editorial updates. During the time that we prepared the NRPM for publication, we added a half dozen new items to the list. This addresses some of the inconsistencies that already exist. Of course the guiding principle of this work is to not inadvertently change policy. Therefore, we need to discuss edits vs. style changes.
Turning to proposals and draft policies. Proposals should be clear and concise. When ARIN staff performs the Clarity and Understanding step, we first see if we understand the proposal. Also, would it add any new terms? Is it policy? If it could be written more clearly, we sometimes suggest alternative text. Then the proposal goes to the AC who takes control of it and decides what to do with it. Proposals that move forward are turned into draft policies by the AC. Since it's the draft policy text that ultimately gets inserted into the NRPM, perhaps we need to provide better feedback on that text during our staff assessments? And perhaps work more closely with the AC even prior to that?
This suggestion will remain open while we continue to discuss this with you. Thank you for participating in the ARIN Consultation and Suggestion Process.