[Standards] XEP Authors

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at stpeter.im
Fri Jun 9 13:08:51 UTC 2017

On 6/9/17 5:37 AM, Philipp Hancke wrote:
>> However, I don't think this is particularly contentious. We have lots
>> of documents for which one of the "Authors" hasn't made any input for
>> several revisions. 
> See the Jingle XEPs for example. I doubt the Google folks listed as
> authors have looked at this spec in a _decade_ (and at least one of them
> has left google).


> Removing someone who did a lot of work on a specification feels bad so
> people tend to avoid doing.
>> I see three cases for moving Authors to a "Previous
>> Authors" section:
>> a) This legal issue, which might expose authors and their employers.
>> By clearly marking that an author is not current, it should address
>> the concerns of (for example) Cisco's legal department.
>> b) The case where an Author discovers their name still against a XEP
>> and is concerned that the XEP misrepresents their views. I believe we
>> have had such cases, and although obviously Authors can already
>> request their removal in entirety, this also removes all
>> acknowledgement for previous hard work.
> Yes, I've had that situation with Peter once in the past. Resolved
> happily in a subsequent revision and we talked a lot thereafter :-)

Indeed, many thanks to you.

>> c) The case where Authors are simply unresponsive to concrete
>> proposals and stall the standards process. While Council can again
>> remove an Author entirely, this often seems like a nuclear option - as
>> if Council is punishing, rather than simply moving things along.
>> I see, on the other hand, no advantage to *not* having a Previous
>> Authors section which properly acknowledges those who have put
>> considerable effort into the document. I'm also happy to list these at
>> the top of the document, maybe just like:
> +1 -- this seems to work well for the W3C. It is also a bigger
> acknowledgement than just adding them to the list of people who
> contributed.
> Also thank you for taking the time to raise this!

IETF RFCs have a "Contributors" section in which previous authors (and,
for instance, those who have written a significant block of text) are
acknowledged. This is different from the "Acknowledgements" section. See
for instance the recently published RFC 8141:



   Many thanks to Marc Blanchet, Leslie Daigle, Martin Duerst, Juha
   Hakala, Ted Hardie, Alfred Hoenes, Paul Jones, Barry Leiba, Sean
   Leonard, Larry Masinter, Keith Moore, Mark Nottingham, Julian
   Reschke, Lars Svensson, Henry S. Thompson, Dale Worley, and other
   participants in the URNBIS working group for their input.  Alfred
   Hoenes in particular edited an earlier draft version of this document
   and served as co-chair of the URNBIS working group.

   Juha Hakala deserves special recognition for his dedication to
   successfully completing this work, as do Andrew Newton and Melinda
   Shore in their roles as working group co-chairs and Barry Leiba in
   his role as area director and then as co-chair.


   RFC 2141, which provided the basis for the syntax portion of this
   document, was authored by Ryan Moats.

   RFC 3406, which provided the basis for the namespace portion of this
   document, was authored by Leslie Daigle, Dirk-Willem van Gulik,
   Renato Iannella, and Patrik Faltstrom.


There are several reasons to pursue the path that Dave has suggested,
even without legal speculation or engaging counsel that we don't have.
We've previously suggested adding a list of Maintainers, but Authors
(people who are responsible now) and Contributors (people who might have
authored or contributed significantly to the document before) feels cleaner.



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