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Re: Other designation than "Editor"?

From: Fred Baker <fred@cisco.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 08:50:49 -0800
Cc: "spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>
Message-Id: <61B286A0-AA3D-440C-A70E-D5CB580BCC3B@cisco.com>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
On Dec 20, 2011, at 11:50 PM, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> This came up at TPAC, but I have not seen much follow-up. Not sure if this is the appropriate list either, but I thought I would try. There's a bunch of specifications where the person designated as "Editor" does a whole lot more than copy-and-pasting some WG agreed text. I.e. the research, writing all the text, and discussing the subject with everyone. More like an "Author" I guess. Does it make sense to distinguish the two?

This comment is a little out of left field, as it's in a different SDO. But it may be helpful.

In the IETF, we call someone an "editor" when s/he takes up the pen after another author leaves a job, such as revising a previous RFC or continuing work in a working group that another person started but didn't finish. For example, I originally wrote RFC 1406, it was updated by David Fowler (applying the MIB to DS2/E2 as well as DS1/E1 interfaces), and again updated (twice) by Orly Nicklass (tracking some ANSI and ITU documents). The term "editor" in the context means that they started from an existing work and changed it.

1406 Definitions of Managed Objects for the DS1 and E1 Interface
     Types. F. Baker, J. Watt, Eds.. January 1993. (Format: TXT=97559
     bytes) (Obsoletes RFC1232) (Obsoleted by RFC2495) (Status: PROPOSED

2495 Definitions of Managed Objects for the DS1, E1, DS2 and E2
     Interface Types. D. Fowler, Ed.. January 1999. (Format: TXT=155560
     bytes) (Obsoletes RFC1406) (Obsoleted by RFC3895) (Status: PROPOSED

3895 Definitions of Managed Objects for the DS1, E1, DS2, and E2
     Interface Types. O. Nicklass, Ed.. September 2004. (Format:
     TXT=163841 bytes) (Obsoletes RFC2495) (Obsoleted by RFC4805) (Status:

4805 Definitions of Managed Objects for the DS1, J1, E1, DS2, and E2
     Interface Types. O. Nicklass, Ed.. March 2007. (Format: TXT=189927
     bytes) (Obsoletes RFC3895) (Status: PROPOSED STANDARD)

The other use of "editor" by the IETF is the case in which there are an unusually number of putative authors. In this case, the "editor" is not simply copy-editing; s/he is "one of the authors" in every sense. But in such documents, it is unusual for the authors to be perfectly equal; more commonly, they are working on different sections or suggesting text for various sections, and one of them naturally takes the role of incorporating text and ensuring consistency of voice and viewpoint in addition to their own technical contribution. An example there is

6204 Basic Requirements for IPv6 Customer Edge Routers. H. Singh, W.
     Beebee, C. Donley, B. Stark, O. Troan, Ed.. April 2011. (Format:
     TXT=37026 bytes) (Status: INFORMATIONAL)

in which Hemant and Wes wrote an initial submission, but Ole Troan did the heavy lifting on the working group's version, and Chris and Barbara added viewpoints from Cable Labs and the Broadband Forum.

It's unusual for us to have editors that simply copy-edit. Even in my work turning what became RFC 1716 into RFC 1812, which was in large part a copy-editing job, I had to (technically) change the document from reflecting RFC 791's classful IPv4 addresses to the CIDR architecture and reflect the obsolescence of RIPv1.

I think we would call the job you are describing that of a technical editor, not a copy-editor.
Received on Thursday, 22 December 2011 17:32:41 UTC

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