[CentOS-docs] Authorship and Attribution

Fri Apr 17 10:13:04 UTC 2009
Alan Bartlett <ajb.stxsl at googlemail.com>

Coming a little late to this discussion, take the example of the three
kernel related HowTos. Each article begins with a "Currently
maintained by: AlanBartlett and AkemiYagi" line.

Akemi & I discussed this some time ago and decided to insert those
lines for two reasons:

(1) to give clear information to a user of those pages if the user
should require assistance
(2) to provide knowledge to others -- who otherwise may feel inclined
to edit those pages -- who to contact and discuss matters with.

The second point is related to Johnny Hughes' comments, referred to by
Akemi, above. In the case of a relatively complex situation -- the
kernel articles -- ad hoc editing by anyone should not take place.

So I would like to suggest the following:

If the writer of an article wishes to be acknowledged, insert a
"Author: name" line at the begining of it. One example of this
technique, that currently comes to my mind, is the Java page -- where
Russ Herrold states his authorship of the "simpler method".

If an article has a maintainer, to whom user comments and other
suggestions should be directed, a "Currently maintained by: name"
should be inserted at its head.

Now to address the original cause of this discussion. I have no
problem at all in anyone documenting my thoughts / comments /
off-the-cuff advice. What I don't like is to be set up as the
recipient of queries that arises from that documentation. Phil did a
very good job in precisely writing up a synopses of my assistance to
the OP of a forum thread and began it with the (unnecessary but
generous) credit to me. In my polishing of that page, I added an
"Author: PhilSchaffner" line. Next Akemi, unaware of the private
e-mail from me to Phil, promptly re-edited it to insert a "Maintained
by: AlanBartlett" line. Accordingly, I then removed all of that
introductory information and privately let Akemi know of my feelings
on the subject.