Re: [urn] Authorship Re: I-D Action: draft-ietf-urnbis-rfc3406bis-urn-ns-reg-02.txt

Alfred Hönes <> Sun, 25 March 2012 23:25 UTC

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From: Alfred Hönes <>
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Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 01:24:35 +0200
In-Reply-To: <> from Leslie Daigle at Mar "25, " 2012 "09:00:21" am
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Subject: Re: [urn] Authorship Re: I-D Action: draft-ietf-urnbis-rfc3406bis-urn-ns-reg-02.txt
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Leslie Daigle wrote:

> Hi,
> This document says:
>> IETF URNbis WG                                                 A. Hoenes
>> Internet-Draft                                                    TR-Sys
>> Obsoletes: 3406 (if approved)                             March 12, 2012
>> Intended status: BCP
>> Expires: September 13, 2012
> and
>> 7.  Acknowledgements
>>    This document is heavily based on RFC 3406, the authors of which are
>>    cordially acknowledged.
> I don't think this is appropriate.  The bulk of the work was done by
> the original authors/editors/WG, this is not a complete rewrite.
> I believe the appropriate thing is to list the original authors
> (unless they don't want to be!), and add the new author.
> This is also true for the syntax document, but I'm mentioning it here
> because I'm clearly more implicated, as lead author on both previous
> iterations of this RFC.
> Leslie.


I'm a bit surprised that you raise this argument now (and haven't
done so much earlier).

The delineation of who should appear as an "Author" or be listed
in the "Contributors" or Acknowledgements" section of an RFC, and
-- by induction -- of an I-D, seems to be a subject of recurring

Here is the background I'm aware of:

RFC 5378 and its predecessors admit -- notwithstanding specifically
indicating-so exceptions -- the unlimited right to prepare derived
work within the IETF.  Section 5.6 (a) of BCP 78 is rather terse
on what "properly acknowledge[ing] all Contributors" means in detail.

>From the perspective of the RFC Editor, being listed on the front
page of an RFC means active participation during the final RFC Editor
processing stages; according to my limited experience, the IESG also
expects listed authors to be available for interaction during their
evaluation process of a draft (once publication is requested).
The RFC Style and Policy documents indicate that people not listed
on the front page can be acknowledged in Contributors and/or
Acknowledgements sections, which are seen as almost equivalent --
the practical difference being that people listed in a Contributors
section optionally can be shown with full contact information like
in the Authors' Address section.

Working Groups in the IETF at present seem to have divergent
policies on whom to list on the front page of their WG documents
that revise previous work.  Some seem to be very strict in only
listing active authors/editors, and that also seems to be the essence
of the RFC Editor's policy.
The (vaguely) related elaborations in the "Tao" of the IETF also seem
to be compatible with this policy (in particular the Tao points out
that WG chairs decide who is going to be listed on the front page of
WG documents).
Until the advent of a related recent thread on the wgchairs list
I haven't even been aware of successful diverging practice in other
WGs of the IETF.

The first version of the rfc2141bis draft was submitted im March 2010
and the first version of the rfc3406bis draft in November 2010.
IIRC, you have been engaged in the process leading to the formation
of the URNbis WG (but haven't been able to attend the BoF in person)
and you have attended the WG's meeting at IETF 80.
If you had indicated interest in working on the documents, I would
have been honored to work with you and have your name listed on the
front page of the rfc3406bis draft, but absent such indication,
I simply followed the examples I've seen in the past in other WGs
I've been active in, where only individuals working actively on the
documents were being listed on the front page of "bis" documents.
I also do not recall participation of the author of RFC 2141 in
URNbis-related activities or any indication of desire to participate
in the work on the rfc2141bis draft -- which of course would have
been honored as well.

As long as the work distribution remains the same as up to now,
I'd like to defer the decision on the front page listing to the
RFC Editor or eventually emerging new consensus in the IETF that
might in fact invalidate the aforementioned strict practice.

If you can commit time to actually perform work on the rfc3406bis
draft, I'll readily agree, and you'll of course be listed on the
front page of the next draft version.  Otherwise, if you would prefer
being listed in a distinct "Contributors" section -- maybe including
contact information, then please let me know.

Kind regards,


| TR-Sys Alfred Hoenes   |  Alfred Hoenes   Dipl.-Math., Dipl.-Phys.  |
| Gerlinger Strasse 12   |  Phone: (+49)7156/9635-0, Fax: -18         |
| D-71254  Ditzingen     |  E-Mail:                     |

> ... [snip]
> --
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> "Reality:
>       Yours to discover."
>                                  -- ThinkingCat
> Leslie Daigle
> -------------------------------------------------------------------