[rfc-i] Five-author maximum?

Aaron Falk falk at ISI.EDU
Thu Jun 10 10:27:07 PDT 2004

On Jun 10, 2004, at 8:56 AM, Paul Hoffman / VPNC wrote:

> This seems to bust the five-authors suggestion by a significant 
> number. Are each of these people really responsible for all of the 
> content? Given Phil's designation as "Ed." on the top line, it seems 
> likely that the author-name-padding should be removed.


A reasonable question.  Hopefully, the email below will answer your 
concerns.  It was sent by a co-chair of the working group which 
produced the document (me) and sent to the responsible AD (Allison) and 
the IESG Chair (Harald).

<continued below...>

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Aaron Falk <falk at isi.edu>
> Date: November 3, 2003 2:30:59 PM PST
> To: Allison Mankin <mankin at psg.com>, Harald Tveit Alvestrand 
> <harald at alvestrand.no>
> Subject: authors for draft-ietf-pilc-link-design
> Allison, Harald-
> Because of my role in RFC Editor, I felt it would be useful to make
> draft-ietf-pilc-link-design an early test case in limiting authors.
> Some time ago, while the document was in final working group editing,
> we reduced the author count from twelve:
>   Phil Karn, Carsten Bormann, Gorry Fairhurst, Aaron Falk, Dan
>   Grossman, Reiner Ludwig, Jamshid Mahdavi, Saverio Mascolo,
>   Marie-Jose Montpetit, Gabriel Montenegro, Joe Touch, Lloyd Wood
> to one (plus the wg):
>   Phil Karn, editor
>   Performance Implications of Link Characteristics Working Group
> with a detailed contributors section immediately following the
> abstract.
> However, as time has passed the unfairness of this approach has
> started to grate on me and I feel that it was, basically, the Wrong
> Thing to do.  What I'd like to do is put the most significant
> contributors, who number eight:
>   Phil Karn, Carsten Bormann, Gorry Fairhurst, Dan Grossman, Reiner
>   Ludwig, Jamshid Mahdavi, Joe Touch, Lloyd Wood
> on the cover page.
> Reading the policy carfully
> (http://www.rfc-editor.org/policy.html#policy.authlist), there is no
> hard limit at five authors.  The policy states that the exceptions to
> the guidelines may be granted "by specific IESG request."  So, I'd
> like to ask that you request an exception with the following
> justification:
>   The document "Advice to Subnet Designers" is a compendium on variety
>   of topics relating (mostly) transport performance to link design
>   parameters.  The proposed authors each contributed deep expertise
>   without which the document would have been incomplete.  While this
>   document represents the consensus of the PILC working group, the
>   listed contibutors each share significant responsibility (& credit &
>   blame) for creating the document.  Listing only one name gives undue
>   credit to the sole person listed.  Listing a subset of the group is
>   unfair because each one made a significant contribution to the end
>   product.  For this reason, I would like to request that IESG solicit
>   an exemption to the five author policy of the RFC Editor.  I believe
>   they and the community will benefit from the clear association of
>   this list of authors with the content.
> I should note that none of the authors has requested that I do this.
> There was some grumbling when we went from twelve to one but that was
> some time ago.  I am making this request only because my conscience is
> bugging me.
> I am quite conscious of the potential appearance of a conflict of
> interest in this situation.  However, because the request for
> exception must come from the IESG, rather than me, I don't believe my
> role as part of the RFC Editor should play a role in making this
> decision.
> Thanks,
> --aaron

In response to this request, Allison suggested that I add some text 
which was meant to head off any concerns of author padding.  The 
resulting "Contributors" section describes some of the specific 
contributions of each listed author, as well as some we chose not to 
list as authors (including myself and Mark Allman):

> Contributors
>    This document represents a consensus of the members of the IETF
>    Performance Implications of Link Characteristics (PILC) working
>    group.
>    This document would not have been possible without the contributions
>    of a great number of people in the Performance Implications of Link
>    Characteristics Working Group.  In particular, the following people
>    provided major contributions of text, editing and advice to this
>    document: Mark Allman provided the final editing to complete this
>    document.  Carsten Bormann provided text on robust header
>    compression.  Gorry Fairhurst provided text on broadcast and
>    multicast issues and many valuable comments on the entire document.
>    Aaron Falk provided text on bandwidth on demand.  Dan Grossman
>    provided text on security considerations as well as on many facets 
> of
>    the document.  Reiner Ludwig provided thorough document review and
>    text on TCP vs. Link-Layer Retransmission.  Jamshid Mahdavi provided
>    text on TCP performance calculations.  Saverio Mascolo provided
>    feedback on the document.  Gabriel Montenegro provided feedback on
>    the document.  Marie-Jose Montpetit provided text on bandwidth on
>    demand.  Joe Touch provided text on multicast and broadcast.  and
>    Lloyd Wood provided many valuable comments on drafts of the 
> document.

I hope this addresses your concern.



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