Hackage accounts and real names

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Hackage accounts and real names

David House
Hi,

An issue came up on #haskell recently with Hackage accounts requiring
real names. The person in question (who didn't send this email as he's
wishing to remain anonymous) applied for a Hackage account and was
turned down, as he refused to offer his real name for the username.

Those of us in the conversation thought this a bit of an odd policy,
and were wondering where this came from. It also emerged that a couple
of other people had been held back from getting Hackage accounts
because of this reason.

Seeing as it's also trivially easy to fake a name, what's the purpose
of this restriction?

Thanks,
-David
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
On 5 April 2010 07:28, David House <[hidden email]> wrote:
> An issue came up on #haskell recently with Hackage accounts requiring
> real names. The person in question (who didn't send this email as he's
> wishing to remain anonymous) applied for a Hackage account and was
> turned down, as he refused to offer his real name for the username.

I would wonder _why_ anyone would refuse to do so.  Are they that
ashamed of their own software that they wouldn't want to be associated
with it, or is there some legal reason that they don't want to be
associated with it?

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Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
[hidden email]
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Brandon S Allbery KF8NH
On Apr 4, 2010, at 19:35 , Ivan Miljenovic wrote:
> I would wonder _why_ anyone would refuse to do so.  Are they that
> ashamed of their own software that they wouldn't want to be associated
> with it, or is there some legal reason that they don't want to be
> associated with it?


Some people are paranoid about such things, for example because it  
would allow people to google-mine for things they'd rather a random HR  
person not reading by linking names together.  They use a consistent  
online name for non-official stuff but work hard to avoid this being  
linked to their real name.  (Several people I know who do this are  
fairly active in the bi, poly, and/or BSDM communities and are  
justifiably worried that HR would take a dim view of it being possibly  
associated with their company.)

--
brandon s. allbery [solaris,freebsd,perl,pugs,haskell] [hidden email]
system administrator [openafs,heimdal,too many hats] [hidden email]
electrical and computer engineering, carnegie mellon university    KF8NH



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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Jesper Louis Andersen-2
On Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 1:49 AM, Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Some people are paranoid about such things, for example because it would
> allow people to google-mine for things they'd rather a random HR person not
> reading by linking names together.

In addition, the concept is rather silly, as one can just take a
pseudonym without any of us knowing:

Whats new:
Thu Apr 1 13:37:00 UTC 2010  NicolasBourbaki   algebre-1.0

History is ripe with examples of this.

--
J.
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
In reply to this post by Brandon S Allbery KF8NH
"Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH" <[hidden email]> writes:
> (Several people I know who do this are fairly active in the bi, poly,
> and/or BSDM communities and are justifiably worried that HR would take
> a dim view of it being possibly associated with their company.)

I can understand wishing to be anonymous in these kinds of situations,
but in terms of submitting open source software?  Unless their employer
is worried about them releasing proprietary software on Hackage, I don't
see the potential for embarrasment there.

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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Brandon S Allbery KF8NH
On Apr 4, 2010, at 22:57 , Ivan Lazar Miljenovic wrote:

> "Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH" <[hidden email]> writes:
>> (Several people I know who do this are fairly active in the bi, poly,
>> and/or BSDM communities and are justifiably worried that HR would  
>> take
>> a dim view of it being possibly associated with their company.)
>
> I can understand wishing to be anonymous in these kinds of situations,
> but in terms of submitting open source software?  Unless their  
> employer
> is worried about them releasing proprietary software on Hackage, I  
> don't
> see the potential for embarrasment there.

It's more about wanting to keep their non-work-related stuff under a  
*common* ID, but not one that can be tied back to their work persona.  
A sort of rigorously-policed double life.  There are people who do  
this, and if they ever are able to release something work-related  
they'll ask for a separate account for that.

(Be it noted that I don't work that way; anyone who wants to search  
for me in Usenet archives can determine that pretty quickly. :/ But I  
can understand the impulse.)

--
brandon s. allbery [solaris,freebsd,perl,pugs,haskell] [hidden email]
system administrator [openafs,heimdal,too many hats] [hidden email]
electrical and computer engineering, carnegie mellon university    KF8NH



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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Jake McArthur
In reply to this post by Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
On 04/04/2010 06:35 PM, Ivan Miljenovic wrote:
> I would wonder _why_ anyone would refuse to do so.  Are they that
> ashamed of their own software that they wouldn't want to be associated
> with it, or is there some legal reason that they don't want to be
> associated with it?

This seems to be orthogonal to the discussion at hand. Why are people
not *allowed* to use pseudonyms on Hackage, for whatever reason they
wish to do so?

- Jake
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

jfredett
In reply to this post by Jesper Louis Andersen-2
Exactly, it's not like the Hackage people are doing extensive  
background checks of everyone, they just want something consistent.

You guys don't _really_ think my name is Joe Fredette, right?

I'm actually Batman.

/Joe

On Apr 4, 2010, at 7:58 PM, Jesper Louis Andersen wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 1:49 AM, Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Some people are paranoid about such things, for example because it  
>> would
>> allow people to google-mine for things they'd rather a random HR  
>> person not
>> reading by linking names together.
>
> In addition, the concept is rather silly, as one can just take a
> pseudonym without any of us knowing:
>
> Whats new:
> Thu Apr 1 13:37:00 UTC 2010  NicolasBourbaki   algebre-1.0
>
> History is ripe with examples of this.
>
> --
> J.
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Heinrich Apfelmus
In reply to this post by Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
David House wrote:
> An issue came up on #haskell recently with Hackage accounts requiring
> real names. The person in question (who didn't send this email as he's
> wishing to remain anonymous) applied for a Hackage account and was
> turned down, as he refused to offer his real name for the username.

It appears to me that it's generally a good idea to adopt a pseudonym
that looks like a real name anyway. The main benefit is that no one will
notice that it's a pseudonym, thus avoiding such complications.


Ivan Miljenovic wrote:
> I would wonder _why_ anyone would refuse to do so.  Are they that
> ashamed of their own software that they wouldn't want to be associated
> with it, or is there some legal reason that they don't want to be
> associated with it?

I'm sure they have their reasons, and who am I to judge them. Most
likely, it's about googleability.


Regards,
Heinrich Apfelmus

--
http://apfelmus.nfshost.com

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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
In reply to this post by jfredett
Joe Fredette <[hidden email]> writes:
> You guys don't _really_ think my name is Joe Fredette, right?
>
> I'm actually Batman.

Batman, Joe, whatever your name is...

I notice that the HWN has turned into the Haskell
Whenever-I-can-be-bothered-getting-around-to-it News... >_>

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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

David House
In reply to this post by Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
.On 5 April 2010 03:57, Ivan Lazar Miljenovic <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I can understand wishing to be anonymous in these kinds of situations,
> but in terms of submitting open source software?  Unless their employer
> is worried about them releasing proprietary software on Hackage, I don't
> see the potential for embarrasment there.

I think the bottom line is that this is preventing people from
contributing to Hackage, and there is no good reason behind it other
than "Why not".
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Ross Paterson
In reply to this post by David House
On Sun, Apr 04, 2010 at 10:28:26PM +0100, David House wrote:
> An issue came up on #haskell recently with Hackage accounts requiring
> real names. The person in question (who didn't send this email as he's
> wishing to remain anonymous) applied for a Hackage account and was
> turned down, as he refused to offer his real name for the username.
>
> Those of us in the conversation thought this a bit of an odd policy,
> and were wondering where this came from. It also emerged that a couple
> of other people had been held back from getting Hackage accounts
> because of this reason.

Basically http://meatballwiki.org/wiki/RealNameUserAdvantages, especially
simplicity, trust and recognizability.  At root, I find it convenient
to run username allocation that way.

I am prepared to make exceptions for privacy concerns, and have done
so once, but that wasn't the case with the person you're referring to.
Their real name is all over the Internet, and they wanted to use their
first name only, which is easily linked to their full name.

I don't recall anyone else refusing to use their real name, though
a number of people have not responded to enquiries I made of them.
Of course some may have been put off by the User accounts page.
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

David House
On 5 April 2010 12:52, Ross Paterson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Basically http://meatballwiki.org/wiki/RealNameUserAdvantages, especially
> simplicity, trust and recognizability.

Allow me to respond to some of these points. I find none of them
particularly convincing, especially not when compared to the
disadvantage that it's holding back contributors to hackage.

> Simplicity. It's the simplest thing. You need a name, you use your name.

Disagreed. For those people who consistently use an online pseudonym,
the simplest thing is to continue that consistency, rather than
remember a list of exceptions who had a real names policy.

Moreover it makes things more difficult for everyone else. If someone
uses their pseudonym on IRC, on the wiki, on the mailing lists, on
their website and so on and so forth, that's how I know them. If I
want to find their hackage contributions, now I need to know their
real name. Where do I find this information, in general? (I presume
this addresses your "recognisability" point as well.)

> Trust. If a person doesn't use their RealName, there is a reason for it. There are many possible reasons, most of them mean problems. So the community will not trust people without RealName - except if there is a really credible explanation.

This is an incredible claim. The number of online communities that
mandate real names is tiny. This article seems to imply that the vast
majority of online communities would be rife with mistrust. This is
simply not how the internet works, or has ever worked.

The rest of that article is a list of barrel-scraping excuses, e.g.,
* "Authorship. Being recognized (and honored) as the author." (Why
doesn't that apply to a pseudonym?)
* "Reputation. Using a RealName is the most credible way to build a
combined online and RealLife identity." (Some people don't want this,
for whatever reasons.)
* ... and so on.

> I don't recall anyone else refusing to use their real name, though
> a number of people have not responded to enquiries I made of them.
> Of course some may have been put off by the User accounts page.

There was at least one other person in the conversation who mentioned
they'd be put off by this policy. A few others chimed in with general
support, if not a specific mention of boycott.

IMO this policy is hurting the community in much greater weight than
any purported advantages. I'd like to see the restriction lifted.

-David
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Martijn van Steenbergen-2
In reply to this post by David House
+1 for lifting this restriction.

On 4/4/10 23:28, David House wrote:
> An issue came up on #haskell recently with Hackage accounts requiring
> real names.
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

jfredett
In reply to this post by Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
Unfortunately, Ivan, it's not so much the Whenever-I-can-be-bothered  
and more the Joe-had-4-finals-in-2-weeks-and-3-papers-to-write. HWN  
should be back shortly.

Come Summertime, I suspect all of these delays will stop, but with a 7  
class semester, something's gotta give.

/Joe


On Apr 5, 2010, at 4:52 AM, Ivan Lazar Miljenovic wrote:

> Joe Fredette <[hidden email]> writes:
>> You guys don't _really_ think my name is Joe Fredette, right?
>>
>> I'm actually Batman.
>
> Batman, Joe, whatever your name is...
>
> I notice that the HWN has turned into the Haskell
> Whenever-I-can-be-bothered-getting-around-to-it News... >_>
>
> --
> Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
> [hidden email]
> IvanMiljenovic.wordpress.com

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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Gwern Branwen
In reply to this post by David House
On Sun, Apr 4, 2010 at 5:28 PM, David House <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> An issue came up on #haskell recently with Hackage accounts requiring
> real names. The person in question (who didn't send this email as he's
> wishing to remain anonymous) applied for a Hackage account and was
> turned down, as he refused to offer his real name for the username.
>
> Those of us in the conversation thought this a bit of an odd policy,
> and were wondering where this came from. It also emerged that a couple
> of other people had been held back from getting Hackage accounts
> because of this reason.

It must've been put in place in the past year or two; I've never made
any bones about using a pseudonym, and I had no trouble getting a
Hackage account back when it was starting up.

--
gwern
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Mihai Maruseac
In reply to this post by jfredett
Maybe some can help him with this.

On Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 4:31 PM, Joe Fredette <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Unfortunately, Ivan, it's not so much the Whenever-I-can-be-bothered and
> more the Joe-had-4-finals-in-2-weeks-and-3-papers-to-write. HWN should be
> back shortly.
>
> Come Summertime, I suspect all of these delays will stop, but with a 7 class
> semester, something's gotta give.
>
> /Joe
>
>
> On Apr 5, 2010, at 4:52 AM, Ivan Lazar Miljenovic wrote:
>
>> Joe Fredette <[hidden email]> writes:
>>>
>>> You guys don't _really_ think my name is Joe Fredette, right?
>>>
>>> I'm actually Batman.
>>
>> Batman, Joe, whatever your name is...
>>
>> I notice that the HWN has turned into the Haskell
>> Whenever-I-can-be-bothered-getting-around-to-it News... >_>
>>
>> --
>> Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
>> [hidden email]
>> IvanMiljenovic.wordpress.com
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
In reply to this post by jfredett
Joe Fredette <[hidden email]> writes:
> Unfortunately, Ivan, it's not so much the Whenever-I-can-be-bothered
> and more the Joe-had-4-finals-in-2-weeks-and-3-papers-to-write. HWN
> should be back shortly.

Hang on, I thought your name was Batman, not Joe...

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[hidden email]
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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

jfredett
Thats what I _want_ you to think. :)


On Apr 5, 2010, at 10:28 AM, Ivan Lazar Miljenovic wrote:

> Joe Fredette <[hidden email]> writes:
>> Unfortunately, Ivan, it's not so much the Whenever-I-can-be-bothered
>> and more the Joe-had-4-finals-in-2-weeks-and-3-papers-to-write. HWN
>> should be back shortly.
>
> Hang on, I thought your name was Batman, not Joe...
>
> --
> Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
> [hidden email]
> IvanMiljenovic.wordpress.com

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Re: Hackage accounts and real names

Jonas Almström Duregård
In reply to this post by Jesper Louis Andersen-2
> In addition, the concept is rather silly, as one can just take a
> pseudonym without any of us knowing:

When I registered I was prompted to verify my identity by means of my
university email (as opposed to my gmail account), which would
complicate using a pseudonym.

This being said, I have no problem with this restriction. In fact,
trying to determine the origin of code before agreeing to distribute
it sounds like sound procedure.

Perhaps a good compromise would be the ability to hide the uploader on
the public website (thus preventing data mining)?  From a users
perspective, the "Uploaded by" field of Hackage packages is somewhat
redundant in the presence of "Maintainer" and "Author" etc.

/Jonas

On 5 April 2010 01:58, Jesper Louis Andersen
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 1:49 AM, Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Some people are paranoid about such things, for example because it would
>> allow people to google-mine for things they'd rather a random HR person not
>> reading by linking names together.
>
> In addition, the concept is rather silly, as one can just take a
> pseudonym without any of us knowing:
>
> Whats new:
> Thu Apr 1 13:37:00 UTC 2010  NicolasBourbaki   algebre-1.0
>
> History is ripe with examples of this.
>
> --
> J.
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
>
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