Re: [urn] listed authors

Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org> Wed, 04 July 2012 13:47 UTC

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From: Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>
To: Peter Saint-Andre <stpeter@stpeter.im>
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Subject: Re: [urn] listed authors
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> I have mentioned this in the past, and I'll mention it again: I think
> the new bis specs need to include the authors of the original documents,
> with the new authors shown as editors. So, for instance,
> draft-ietf-urnbis-2141bis would have the following in the header:
>
> A. Hoenes, Ed.
> R. Moats
>
> Simply ripping the old authors out of the specs is disrespectful.

Well, yes and no -- it's not that simple.

First, I agree that the complete removal of the name of someone who
contributed substantially to a document in any phase of its life
(including a prior edition) would, indeed, be disrespectful... and
unethical.

But:

1. 2141bis (for example) is a product of the urnbis working group, and
the chairs have complete control over who is listed at the top of the
document.  They can remove someone's name for any defensible reason
(subject, of course, to appeal), including that the person is no
longer participating in the document's development.

2. Everyone who appears at the top of the document has to be reachable
and responsive during AUTH48.  An AD can override that, but we prefer
to avoid that and to list only those who we *do* expect to handle the
AUTH48 process promptly.

3. An "Authors" section can and should be added to recognize the
contributions of those who are or were authors of some version of the
document, but who are no longer listed at the top.  This is where we
can give due respect to a former author who is no longer active.

Of course, as Juha says, it would be reasonable to ask the authors of
prior versions how they would like to be recognized (and, I'll add,
whether they will be available to review the final version and sign
off during AUTH48).  That can certainly be input to the chairs'
decision.  And anyway, if contacting a former author might bring more
experienced eyes on the document and get more reviews and input,
that's a good thing.  If we specifically think a former author will
disapprove of where we've gone, that is NOT a reason to exclude him...
in fact, it's that much more of a reason to get the input for
consideration.

Also, in this case, we have the odd situation that one of the chairs
is far more active as a document editor than is usual, leaving it
solely to the other chair to make these decisions.

Barry