Re: [Tools-discuss] Chinese name order versus surname and initial attributes in <author>

Paul Hoffman <> Mon, 26 July 2021 18:56 UTC

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From: Paul Hoffman <>
To: Ted Lemon <>
Cc: Tools Team Discussion <>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2021 11:56:49 -0700
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] Chinese name order versus surname and initial attributes in <author>
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On 26 Jul 2021, at 11:41, Ted Lemon wrote:

> The way that xml2rfc handles Chinese names is broken in a way that I 
> think
> is really problematic. Chinese family names come first, not last. But
> there's no way to tell xml2rfc to use this ordering, and it uses the
> surname and initial on the title page. This is actually not necessary, 
> at
> least for HTML output, and worse it's wrong in a way that I think is 
> not
> acceptable. Furthermore, I don't even know if Chinese has any notion 
> of an
> "initial" so I actually put the author's first name in instead, since 
> it's
> only two glyphs.
> Have people run into this before? I know this isn't the first Chinese
> author, by a long shot.
> Right now I'm addressing the problem by reversing surname and initial, 
> but
> that is obviously not a good solution when the document makes it to 
> RFC,
> since a citation will then come out wrong.

Yes, we have run into this before, and it is more problematic than you 
state because some people with Chinese names (not just Chinese authors) 
prefer to put their given name first (the "modern" way), while others 
prefer to put it last (the "traditional" way). There is no way to 
programmatically determine which method was chosen.

To be clear, this isn't just an RFC format issue: it hits all 

--Paul Hoffman