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From ceki <c...@qos.ch>
Subject Re: @author tags
Date Tue, 29 May 2012 12:57:17 GMT
On 27.05.2012 14:01, Gary Gregory wrote:
>> Can you explain what is gained by removing author tags?
>
> Hi all,
>
> One of my concerns is that author tags misdirect attention to a likely
> stale list of resources as opposed to the place where information and
> support can be obtained today: the mailing list and the project. This
> is where the project is alive, not a list of names, some with email
> links, some without. The ML is where the action is. Why not have an
> author tag pointing to the ML or the site? I did that for a while too
> but no longer. I stil kinda like that one though.
>
> The POM can have the same information in more details to boot without
> repeating it in each file. I also view this as a refactoring of sorts
> to remove duplication. Why repeat this info in each file? John helped
> on A but not B? Who cares!? Well, John's ego does. And that's another
> concern, I'd prefer to work with people who's motivation is the code,
> not the attribution. The ML, bug tracker, and commit history provide
> plent of who did what where.
>
> When I started on Commons projects, I too added my tag to some lists
> of 10 (20?) authors in some files. In retrospect, touching files like
> that here and there is like a dog walking around the forest marking
> trees. The only benefactor is the dog's ego, not the Forrest.
>
> I know I am not my job just like I am not my code or my ego, so I am
> willing to remove my @authors from the picture. Less smudges on the
> windows you see ;)

The term "ego" makes it sound like taking pride in one's work is a bad
thing. I feel that it is disrespectful to remove traces of authorship
in copyrighted works. The concept is embodied in a long standing
European tradition referred to as "moral rights" [1]. Moral rights
include the right of attribution which is perpetual and
inalienable. In the European tradition, the author retains moral
rights even if he/she cedes the copyright. Thus, it might be argued
that recommending the removal of author tags is in clear breach of
European copyright law, at least ignorant of it.

The dog marking analogy is outrageous. It is rather fascinating that
the *symbolically* detrimental practice of author tag removal should
be advocated by those most hurt by it, in this case oss developers
such as yourself. It reminds me of the toothless guy in the blue shirt
getting food stamps who "does not care for government" and votes
Republican [2]. Admittedly, the video is partial and outrageous. It
should not be taken as a personal attack but as an illustration of
obvious contradictions defended tooth-and-nail.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_rights_(copyright_law)#In_Europe
[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciuGxdMuQLg

-- 
Ceki
http://twitter.com/#!/ceki

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