[Haskell-cafe] Hackage accounts and real names

Casey McCann syntaxglitch at gmail.com
Mon Apr 5 14:19:05 EDT 2010

2010/4/5 Jonas Almström Duregård <jonas.duregard at gmail.com>:
> 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.

How so? What does knowing the real name of some code's author tell you
that merely knowing the author's pseudonym doesn't? Particularly when
the information is still unreliable, since any rigorous verification
of identity is likely far more trouble than anyone would want to deal
with here, and any individuals who want to misuse hackage will be the
ones most motivated to deceive.

Not to mention that pseudonymity is overwhelmingly the norm on the
internet. In general, unless it has some reasonable justification like
handling credit cards, a site demanding real names would make me
highly suspicious about what they wanted to do with the information.
In practice, of course, I trust hackage--given that I download and
execute code from it--but deviating from standard expectations for no
apparent reason is rather peculiar.

For what it's worth, a quick web search indicated no such requirement
for uploading packages to RubyGems or the Python cheese shop, and they
seem to do okay.

> 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.

I don't have a hackage account, since I'm fairly new to Haskell and
none of my projects are yet in a sufficiently complete state to
warrant distribution. I'd most likely want to use my real name anyway,
but being specifically required to do so is a bit off-putting, and
having to verify it (A pseudonymous gmail account isn't good enough?
Really?) would quite possibly irritate me enough to decide it isn't
worth it. I do this for fun, after all.

Is the purpose of hackage to be an open community package index that
encourages general contributions, or something more limited?

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