[rfc-i] Author Names/ids

Paul Kyzivat pkyzivat at alum.mit.edu
Mon Apr 28 10:17:14 PDT 2014

On 4/28/14 12:47 PM, Nico Williams wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 11:28 AM, Paul Kyzivat <pkyzivat at alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>> What is the problem we are trying to solve here?
>> Is the current system broken in any way?
>> (I may not have a typical view of this "problem". There is rarely any
>> question of *which* Kyzivat is being referenced.)
> At least three problems:
>   - author name continuity across changes of name or name preferences
>   - author name continuity across display capabilities, romanization, ...
>   - author location continuity across employer changes

My question is whether we currently have a *problem* with the above?

I understand that the above can change. But are they enough of a problem 
that we need to make changes to fix them?

For instance, while authors can change their names, when the do so it 
introduces many issues beyond ietf authorship. They are aware of this, 
and presumably do something to mitigate the problem. Or they don't. If 
they change their name but not their email address, then they can 
probably still be reached, and so it isn't much of a problem. If they 
change both name and email address, then the problem is similar to 
having just changed the email address.

Dealing with language issues can be a problem, but again the authors are 
usually aware of this and motivated to make choices that work for them 
and people who want to reach them.

Author physical location is becoming largely irrelevant except for 
context, so only having the location at the time the RFC was published, 
or not having it at all seems fine. The same is true for affiliation.

ISTM that the major problem here is in being able to contact the author 
of an RFC long after that RFC was published. If the email address stops 
working, is anybody going to try sending snail mail? If so, do they 
really expect that it will work?

Perhaps we could leave the format alone, and provide a mechanism for 
mapping from an old email address to a new one. For instance a database 
could be built based an email address changes for mailing lists.


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