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Re: Bug#296369: ITP: spin -- Powerfull model checking and softwareverification tool

Francesco Poli wrote:

On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 22:26:04 +0000 Lewis Jardine wrote:
It is the convention in most mailing-lists, newsgroups, etc. connected
to Free software that you identify yourself by your name, not some pseudonym or 'handle'.
I don't agree.
I'm a subscriber of various Free software related mailing lists and some
of them have a well established tradition: nicks[1], anonymous
senders[2] and nyms[3] are welcome.
I personally have nothing against people willing to hide their real
identity (we care about dissidents when reviewing licenses: why
shouldn't we care about them when ruling mailing list policies?).

[1] i.e. people that use nicknames rather their actual name in their
[2] i.e. anonymous remailer users
[3] i.e. nym server users

I have no objection to the use of pseudonyms, and I can think of a few places related to Free software where I have encountered such attitudes towards pseudonymity (sourceforge springs to mind).

I think, however, that I would be correct in saying that the practice of using one's real name is more common in communities connected to free software than on the internet at large, and that there exist groups where pseudonymity is frowned upon. Upon reflection, I may well be incorrect in my assumption that these represent the majority.

I don't pretend to speak for Debian, but I haven't seen a single person (apart from yourself :) that doesn't use their real name on this mailing list. I would therefore surmise that
it is the convention here to use your real name.

I don't think it's a convention: it just happens to be so...
I didn't find this "rule" in

A convention is different from a rule or policy: a policy is decided beforehand and formalised, whereas a convention is something that people just happen to do (it may not even be written down anywhere, and just be one of those unspoken rules). Thus, in observing that many (or all) people in a certain group behave in a certain way, I believe it is correct to surmise that such behaviour is a convention of that group.

con·ven·tion (kən-vĕn'shən) pronunciation
3. General agreement on or acceptance of certain practices or attitudes: By convention, north is at the top of most maps. 4. A practice or procedure widely observed in a group, especially to facilitate social interaction; a custom: the convention of shaking hands.

(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Though I don't really care too much one way or the other, and certainly don't claim my opinion to be representative, I assumed from the fact that 99.9% (maybe 99.99%) of posts on debian-legal were From: real names (and the vast majority of those that weren't were bare email addresses caused by a misconfigured mail client) that the convention here was to use one's own name.

In any case, I have no strong opinion on the matter, and have no intention of trying to impose any kind of naming style on anyone. I apologise for giving the impression that I did.

Lewis Jardine

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