[rfc-i] I-D Action: draft-flanagan-nonascii-01.txt

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Sun Apr 20 18:42:36 PDT 2014

On 2014/04/20 07:52, Nico Williams wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 8:02 PM, Brian E Carpenter
> <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>   Person names may appear in several places within an RFC. In all
>>>   cases, valid Unicode is required. For names that include non-ASCII
>>>   characters, an author-provided, ASCII-only identifier is required to
>>>   assist in search and indexing of the document.

While we are at it: Any decent search engine is perfectly able to find 
Faltstrom when one searches for Fältström, and to find Fältström when 
one searches for Faltstrom. Same with many other names. It would be good 
if the need for an ASCII-only identifier were either justified better or 
just removed.

>> How about making a strong request that authors of multiple documents
>> use the same ASCII-only identifier consistently over time?
>> (Logically the same would apply to company names too.)

I agree with Nico here that there isn't much of a need to require this. 
There are already a huge number of authors of multiple documents, and 
they currently ALL use ASCII-only identifiers, whether by chance 
(because their names,... don't contain anything else than ASCII) or by 

Given the above, and the fact that up to now we haven't seen a DOS 
attack on IDs and RFCs by people who frequently change their names, I 
really don't see this concern as anything else than useless worrying 
just because non-ASCII stuff gets involved (unfortunately a still too 
frequent pattern in the IETF).

> I don't think this would be wise.
> People get married, divorced, change their legal names, and/or adopt
> nicknames (should I be Nicolás, Nicolas, Nico, or Nick?  that's my
> business, not the RFC-Editor's or anyone else's).

Yes. People may also use a certain spelling in one country, but then 
discover that another spelling works better in another country. And so 
on. These things happen, but they happen infrequently enough to not need 
to worry about, and the entity involved is usually very aware of the 
downsides of a change.

> Companies merge, get acquired, get spun off, ...  When Oracle acquired
> Sun Microsystems, Inc., should I have continued to use Sun as the name
> of my then-employer in my I-Ds?  No, absolutely not.
> Perhaps we should assign authors a stable identifier.  Perhaps an
> email address @ietf.org or @authors.ietf.org, or some such.  That
> would be great, as it would facilitate contacting of authors when
> their work addresses change.

Perhaps we should. But people who still can be reached should be easy to 
find, and people who can't be reached anymore won't be reached better 
with such a mechanism. We have been able to do without such a mechanism 
for close to 30 years. When there were serious problems to reach an 
author, I don't think the above would have helped substantially.

Regards,  Martin.

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