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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: Removing author tags (again)
Date Wed, 12 Oct 2005 16:24:34 GMT
hepabolu wrote:
> Berin Loritsch wrote:
>> Torsten Curdt wrote:
>>> So either remove them or don't. But giving credit besides the  
>>> community credits does not make much sense to me.
>>> *shrug*
>> You know, I still get people emailing me about some code that I wrote 
>> well over two years ago just because my name is in the author tags.
> More importantly: do you like that or do you find that a nuisance?

Sorry, thought that was obvious: after 8 years, you don't even 
remembering writing that code, helping them is obviously out of the 
picture. But more important, sometimes you remember where you put that 
code when you coded it, but then that projects dies, gets refactored, 
and thanks to OSS licenses lives somewhere else. Normally, your code 
ends up be so different that you can't help them even if you wanted to.

Since it's a crime, nobody takes down @author tags.... meaning that your 
email address will live forever associated with a piece of code that 
over time might not even have a single line of your code anymore.

@author tags are good for one thing only: massaging the ego of the 
programmer, here is my contribution and here is how I pay myself back, 
by placing the @author tag.

I know this because this is how I started contributing to open source, I 
felt great to tell them to grep for my email address inside a piece of 
code they were using and find the "owe" in their faces.

Now this "grep for owe" factor, although childlish, is incredibly 
important and no matter what we do, we must not lose it.

The "grep for owe" factor is only second to the "grep | wc -l for owe" 
factor, which means that the more files you touched, the more your name 

For this project, I had it in the license so my "grep | wc -l for owe" 
factor was growing even without me doing anything ;-) Smart ass, aren't 
I? ;-)

Seriously, I think the "grep for owe" factor should be there for anybody 
that contributed anything, including companies and including people that 
donate something that is not code (like documentation or marketing 
efforts). And I also think that the "grep | wc -l for owe" factor should 
be 1 for everybody no matter how big their contribution is, as to avoid 
racing for it.

So, in short, credits.txt is the place and we can reconstruct the 
chronological order of contributions thru SVN and bugzilla.


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