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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: Real names (was: What is needed for Support Forums to be fully integrated into the Apache project)
Date Tue, 06 Sep 2011 17:02:06 GMT
I think this thread was split off in response to Eric wanting to know Hagar's real name.  It
doesn't matter what that question was about.

There was, however, a nice post and new thread providing an interesting situation with pseudonyms
being used by folks who have registered iCLAs and who might become committers, etc.  It can
be arranged that the real name (required on an iCLA) need not be how a person is identified
anywhere here.  No one is insisting that RGB ES (<>) go by any other
identification here.  

But if RGB happened to have an iCLA on file and wanted to contribute some code, there would
need to be a way to match up the persona identification in the list post with the iCLA on
file.  Likewise, if RGB were a member of the PPMC, and a vote was conducted here on this list,
the PPMC would need a way to confirm that to be a binding (and non-duplicated) vote from a
PPMC member.

(Note: Committers have Apache User Name/IDs, so it works really well to use those for "official
business."  But even those don't have to have anything to do with real names.  You could look
up the user name on the public list and the pseudonym could appear there.  My Apache User
Name/ID is "orcmid" and I do use here from time to time.  I have my real
name show on posts, too, but I don't *have* to do that.)

Whether or not the use of real names, or a real name being known somehow, improves behavior
is an interesting question but the places where a real name is *necessary* isn't related to
that, it seems to me.

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: RGB ES [] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2011 07:11
Subject: Re: Real names (was: What is needed for Support Forums to be fully integrated into
the Apache project)

2011/9/6 Shane Curcuru <>:
> There are a lot of differences between how Apache projects are managed and
> how OOo services have been managed in the past.  This is one where the
> actual policies seem to be very similar; however the normal practice is very
> different.
> ----
> At Apache, anyone who signs an iCLA [1] must provide the ASF with their real
> name.  This is to ensure that the ASF knows specifically who is signing the
> document.  Signing an iCLA is a required before anyone can become a voted in
> as a committer.
> When you sign an iCLA, you may optionally specify a "Public name", which is
> what Apache displays as public information associated with your Apache id
> (if/when you get one).  Thus by policy, Apache allows contributors to
> maintain a public pseudonym, although officially Apache does need to know
> (privately) your real name.

That's OK.

> In terms of actual practice, please note that very few committers at Apache
> use a public pseudonym like this.  More than 98% of our committers use their
> real name, and most of them sign their real names in most emails.

That's maybe a cultural difference, not necessarily a need to "hide" a
"real identity". In my case, I do not feel that my real name, selected
by my parents forty two years ago represent me better that my (i.e.,
/selected by me/) usual pseudonym: I chose to be RGB when I put my
signature to a drawing more than twenty five years ago for several
reasons that identify me as an unique person. In a sense I'm more
"RGB" than I can be "Ricardo".
I understand that in order to be part of an organization you need to
provide a "legal" name, but for communication I do not think it is
important, as far as you can identify the person without doubts. When
I write my opinions, does it matter if my surname have Latin, mid
east, African, Saxon roots...? Does it matter my gender? I think the
answer for both questions is no.

> In terms of flames and spam, this generally works fine for Apache
> committers.  In terms of community, this allows your reputation to build
> associated to you, as your real name, and not to an alias.
> ----
> I think there are several subtle differences here between the typical Apache
> community and what (I think) much of the OOo forum community is:
> - The OOo users are typically end-users, and not developers.  Thus I can
> imagine (but don't know; I'm just guessing) that the users more frequently
> resort to flames and ad hominem attacks.

I think you are wrong here. In almost two years since I'm admin on the
Spanish forums, I needed to suspend a user only once and that was for
a month only.
Forum users a quite calm: most of the time they ask their questions,
get an answer and then disappear.

> - OOo forum users and admins prefer forums.  I'd guess (but again; I don't
> know) that as a whole they don't have as efficient spam traps and mail
> filters as most Apache committers do.  Thus I could see how it would be more
> difficult to manage flames coming to your personal account there, whereas in
> the majority of Apache communities it's not a significant issue (in part,
> because the community as a whole works to correct this kind of behavior).

You are oversimplifying here. I have very good and efficient spam
filters and tag system working on my email account (as a matter of
facts I use this email address for six different mailing lists without
problems), but after several decades of using almost every
communication technology available I still prefer forums. Why? I do
not think that's important (I do not want just another forum vs.
mailing list holy war). Let's say that /for me/ and for many people
(your mileage may vary) forums are better. No more, no less.

> - The OOo end-user community seems less tightly coupled with the project
> future than a typical Apache user community is.  Many Apache users could and
> might submit a bugzilla entry after seeking help for a while on a users@
> list.  It seems that most OOo end-users would not do this, they really only
> want the answer to their question and no more.

The typical OOo user is a very-very end user with normal to low (and
even /very/ low) computer skills. I think that's very different from
the typical user of other Apache projects: I cannot be sure but I
think that users of other Apache products have a medium to hight
computer level.

> It would be helpful to get a better understanding here, on ooo-dev@, of how
> the forums really work, and how much information actually does (or should)
> come back from the forum to the project developers.

Usually when a bug is discovered during forum interaction, if the user
do not report the bug by itself a volunteer interested on the issue
will report it. Afterwards the volunteer will keep an eye on the
Maybe an intermediate level were volunteers can talk directly with
developers could be useful... but I'm not so sure: on the issue
tracker it is already possible to follow a discussion.


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