Re: The RFC Acknowledgement

Dean Willis <> Mon, 11 February 2013 14:41 UTC

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Subject: Re: The RFC Acknowledgement
From: Dean Willis <>
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Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2013 08:40:54 -0600
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To: Michael StJohns <>
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Cc: ietf Discussion <>, Abdussalam Baryun <>
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On Feb 10, 2013, at 3:02 PM, Michael StJohns <> wrote:
> I have been told anecdotally that some companies or organizations provide bonuses or bounties of different values for employees that get their names on a ID or RFC as document editor, author, co-author or contributor (in the acknowledgements section).   I'm not sure of the reality with respect to this anecdote, but I'd hate to find some sort of mandatory "thank you" being required which might result in additional comments that add little or nothing to the process simply so someone can get a bonus.  It's simply not the IETF way.

I agree with everything you've said, and would happily prepare a cover page with both our names so that I can share in the credit for having said so.

Seriously, commenting on drafts is just a part of the work process, a part of the "social contract" of the IETF. People making minor comments on a draft shouldn't expect to be acknowledged in the draft for that contribution to the draft, any more than the pigeons unloading on a park statue should get acknowledged on the plaque for their contribution to the sculpture.

There are plenty of RFCs out there for which I've made large investments of time (say, over 10 hours, perhaps as many as 200 hours) that don't mention me. That's OK. Usually, if I have to work that hard on a draft, it was so bad that I really don't want my name on the final product anyhow ;-). After all, the purpose of having a name on top of the draft is to know who to blame for the content, which helps in predicting the value of their future contributions. Anonymity can actually boost one's credibility in such circumstances.

Dean Willis