Re: How IETF treats contributors Sat, 04 September 2004 06:11 UTC

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Date: Fri, 03 Sep 2004 22:57:49 -0700
In-reply-to: "Your message dated Fri, 03 Sep 2004 22:37:21 -0400" <>
To: Nathaniel Borenstein <>
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Cc: John Day <>,, Hadmut Danisch <>
Subject: Re: How IETF treats contributors
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> On Aug 30, 2004, at 7:05 PM, John Day wrote:

> > The best solution is to remove all authorship from all Internet
> > standards, then there will be no problems.  This isn't suppose to be
> > an ego trip. If people really think the documents are important, they
> > don't need their names on them.  If they need their name on it, they
> > are doing it for the wrong reasons.

> I would argue against this on the grounds that we want to encourage
> standards work as an attractive career path.  If we want bright young
> people to put work into standards, it is appropriate to give credit for
> that work.  Writing a good standard, and building a consensus around
> it, is a challenging set of tasks that requires a combination of
> technical and political skills that are all too rare, and sometimes
> hard to recognize.  If we want more companies to send their best people
> to work in IETF groups, we need to provide something for those people
> to put on their resumes when they succeed, to help build their career
> path.

I completely agree with this assessment.

> I'm all for doing things for the good of the community, but a major
> reason IBM gives me considerable latitude to think about it that way is
> that I have my name on the MIME standard.  It's true that I would have
> done the MIME work whether I was going to get credit for it or not, but
> I can tell you that having my name associated with it has made a big
> difference in my career.  I'd like future standards writers to be able
> to aspire to a similar outcome.  -- Nathaniel

Being another coauthor of MIME hasn't exactly hurt my prospects either.


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