[rfc-i] On Authors, Contributors, Editors, and overload.

Joel M. Halpern jmh at joelhalpern.com
Thu Sep 29 21:34:22 PDT 2011

Agreed.  We can not force someone to serve as author, WG Chair, AD, or 
any of the many other jobs people do for the community that periodically 
seem overwhelming.  This has been proven many times over the years.


On 9/30/2011 12:20 AM, Joe Touch wrote:
> Hi, Joel,
> On 9/29/2011 9:16 PM, Joel M. Halpern wrote:
>> I hope that I am misunderstanding you Joe.
>> Otherwise, I would have to say that your description is missing an
>> important fact reflected both in our rules and our history.
>> Once a document is adopted by a working group as a working group
>> document, it does not belong to the author. If the chairs (with the
>> consent of the WG) deem that the WG is best served by a change in
>> authorship, then a different person is given the pen.
>> The earlier author must be properly credited. But they no longer own the
>> text.
>> In extreme cases, when an AD judges that the pen holder of a WG document
>> is not making the changes the WG requires, the AD is expected to work
>> with the chairs to cause a change of pen holder. This has happened in
>> the past with working group documents.
>> So, yes, the IETF does appoint the person doing the writing for WG
>> documents.
> You're missing the part where the IETF does NOT have the authority to
> appoint an individual who does not WANT to be author. That's all.
> They can't keep someone as author who asks to be removed either.
> They CAN continue the doc and its text IF the previous version allowed
> (e.g., allowing reuse, etc.).
> But nobody can FORCE an author to continue to be an author, nor can they
> force someone to be an author in the first place.
> Joe
>> For non-WG documents, the IETF has no say.
>> Yours,
>> Joel
>> On 9/28/2011 8:30 PM, Joe Touch wrote:
>>> On 9/28/2011 4:46 PM, SM wrote:
>>>> Hi Joe,
>>>> At 16:17 28-09-2011, Joe Touch wrote:
>>>>> For IETF stream:
>>>>> add author/editor is made by the individuals with the approval
>>>>> of the WG
>>>> Isn't that a WG Chair decision?
>>>> I am fine with it being done with the approval of the WG. There can be
>>>> situations when it is better not to have a WG discussion about
>>>> authorship.
>>> I doubt a WG chair would make a decision that the WG didn't like, but I
>>> wasn't focusing on who "approves".
>>> My main point was that the IETF (Wg chair, WG - whatever) doesn't
>>> appoint (that is unilateral, and authors/editors can always decline);
>>> they "invite" or "approve", however you prefer to view it.
>>> Joe
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