[rfc-i] Author Names/ids

Nico Williams nico at cryptonector.com
Mon Apr 28 12:48:26 PDT 2014

On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 12:17 PM, Paul Kyzivat <pkyzivat at alum.mit.edu> wrote:
> 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:
> My question is whether we currently have a *problem* with the above?

Yes.  Examples were given.  No need to repeat them here; they are in
the archive.

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

That's a subjective question.  IMO: yes.  IMO we should:

 - allow for ORCIDs to be specified and included in I-Ds and RFCs, we
should consider (and probably reject) an IETF or RFC-Editor author
handle system to supplement ORCID,

 - we should permit the use of non-ASCII UTF-8 (as well as optional
romanizations, displaying both -if provided- in the Authors section)
for author names.

> 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

Some changes are unavoidable.  We also might have to accept otherwise
avoidable changes due to legal requirements.

> 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.

My e-mail address has changed several times.

> 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.

Sounds condescending and patronizing to me.

> 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?

Having an ORCID means that email address changes can be survived.

> 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.

Yes, ORCIDs do that.


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