[Python-Dev] Names matter.

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Mon Jan 16 13:57:51 CET 2006

Jim Fulton wrote:
> Tim Peters wrote:
>>[Georg Brandl -- or so he claimed on January 8]
>>>today, when two Python developers here had approached me about the PSF, I
>>>realized that it is time to correct a mistake which I had made over three years
>>>ago, when I discovered Linux, free software, Usenet etc (I was sixteen at that time).
>>>I then assumed a different name, partly to anonymize myself as others had advised.
>>>When I came across Python, I instantly liked it, and since I had interest in
>>>Open Source development in general, I wanted to try and contribute to the
>>>And, as a matter of course, I used my different name for that. When I realized that
>>>I liked the community and the development of Python very much, I decided to
>>>"unveil" myself, but I could never overcome myself -- till now.
>>>I'm really sorry, and I hope you could at least partly understand what caused
>>>me to act so irrational.
>>It doesn't really matter, Georg:  by default, Python compares by
>>object identity, not name.  If _you_ haven't changed, your name
>>doesn't matter.
> I realize that folks are, rightly, trying to encourage Georg.  I think
> protection of the identity of a minor on the Internet is understandable
> and justifiable.
> In general though, for adults, truthfulness and non-anonymity *do*
> matter.  At least they matter to me, a *lot*.  I don't think members
> of the PSF should be allowed to hide their identity and certainly,
> it should not be acceptable to contribute to Python under a false name.
In principle I think you are correct.

In practice it's difficult to see how to nsure this without insistence 
on some digital certificate from an acceptable CA - by which I mean one 
that actually checks a driving license or passport before asserting a 
user's identity. Both CACert and Thawte have web-of-trust-like schemes 
to support this.

In the meantine what do we do? Ask for a signed statement that 
contributors are contributing under their own identities?

Steve Holden       +44 150 684 7255  +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC                     www.holdenweb.com
PyCon TX 2006                  www.python.org/pycon/

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