Posted Jun 30, 2010 23:56 UTC (Wed) by dirtyepic (subscriber, #30178)
Parent article: Two GCC stories
What I find to be more interesting is that NightStrike first offered to merely ping patches that hadn't received attention or had been approved but never committed, and asked if people would please reply to a patch thread when committing the code. This was met with some responses such as
> By the way, I wonder how many contributors can even think taking
> seriously a message coming from "NightStrike". Not me, for sure...
> Like Paolo, I'm a lot more likely to read a message from someone with
> a real name, or at least a name that sounds real.
So for me at least, there is an issue here that has nothing to do with security, and everything to do with the perception of identity. This individual isn't writing or reviewing or checking in code, they're offering to perform a service to the community - a menial one at that - and are being refused on the basis of their name. Is this justifiable? Is it appropriate to turn down contributers, not based on their actions or work, but on some aspect of their persona? If you replace "real" in that second quote with "Chinese" or "female" it becomes ludicrous. After all, that would be discriminatory. But how is this any different? Maybe because it's an affectation? Maybe it's on the shoulders of the contributor to be responsible for conforming to the social norms of the community. But should a person really be judged on anything but their actions, and can communities afford to alienate those want to contribute useful work but retain their anonymity? It's an interesting line to walk.