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Goliath!
July 20th, 2007, 02:49 AM
I am new to open source communities and social norms. Could you help me not make a fool of myself?

In The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Eric S. Raymond, 1993, p208, Raymond says:

Don't use a silly, grandiose, user ID or screen name . . . Concealing your identity behind a handle is a juvenile and silly behavior characteristic of crackers, warez, d00dz, and other lower life forms. Hackers don't do this; they're proud of what they do and want it associated with their real names. So if you have a handle, drop it. In the hacker culture it will only mark you as a loser.

Is this still true, almost 15 years later? Is it true in the Ubuntu community? When I registered on ubuntuforums.org I chose my name because it was literally the first thing that entered my mind. I appended the bang because goliath was already taken. Was this a mistake?

I can't help thinking that back in 1993 the internet was a very very different place. In 2007 I don't want to disclose my identity online because I'm truly afraid of the weirdos and other dangerously psychotic people out there. I'm afraid of accidentally offending some one online and later finding them on my doorstep with a shotgun. Not only do I have a family to think of, but also I'm rather fond of my life.

As I explore the forums I don't see many (any?) people using their real names. Is there a secret cabal of inner hackers laughing at all of us with handles?

Any comments?

23meg
July 20th, 2007, 02:59 AM
Hacker culture as described by Raymond is mostly absent from web forums. Elsewhere, such as mailing lists, Launchpad, the wiki and IRC, you'll see that almost everyone who contributes to Ubuntu uses their real names.

tbroderick
July 20th, 2007, 03:13 AM
Hacker culture as described by Raymond is mostly absent from web forums. Elsewhere, such as mailing lists, Launchpad, the wiki and IRC, you'll see that almost everyone who contributes to Ubuntu uses their real names.

I think everyone here should use their real name too.

Zzl1xndd
July 20th, 2007, 03:18 AM
Well that really depends I answer to Enigma as much as I answer to Kory ( I also answer to Gimpy and Beaker) Sure Kory is my given name but i know a lot of people that dont go by theirs.

UFF
July 20th, 2007, 03:22 AM
As I explore the forums I don't see many (any?) people using their real names. Is there a secret cabal of inner hackers laughing at all of us with handles?

Any comments?


Who cares? People on forums or w/e aren't the only people who use aliases. Authors, writers, musicians, hell even actors adopt pseudonyms sometimes.

My real name isn't relevant to anyone on this forum so why should I use it as a username? Only time I use it [my first name]is when I post a topic asking a question/for help just to personalize it a little bit.

bread eyes
July 20th, 2007, 03:24 AM
I'm afraid of accidentally offending some one online and later finding them on my doorstep with a shotgun.
:roll:

Peyton
July 20th, 2007, 04:16 AM
Under common law, your name is whatever you want it to be.

stepan2
July 20th, 2007, 04:27 AM
what does ubuntu have to do with hackers??

23meg
July 20th, 2007, 04:40 AM
The term "hacker" as used by Raymond doesn't refer to what the mass media use of the word usually refers to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker

saulgoode
July 20th, 2007, 05:11 AM
ESR also stated that you could not be a hacker unless you have been called a hacker by another hacker -- which must have presented quite a conundrum to the first hacker.

Warpnow
July 20th, 2007, 07:19 AM
http://www.catb.org/hacker-emblem/

"Hackers" in that context, I believe, refers to a more respectable side of computer addicts ;)

I've noticed many of them use their own names. Not necessarily on forums, but many of them run websites, or are on mailing lists, with their real names attatched.

jay019
July 20th, 2007, 07:48 AM
ESR also stated that you could not be a hacker unless you have been called a hacker by another hacker -- which must have presented quite a conundrum to the first hacker.

:lolflag:

Motoxrdude
July 20th, 2007, 07:51 AM
I doesn't matter really. I mean think about it, why would someone need to know your name anyways on a forum?

tbroderick
July 20th, 2007, 07:53 AM
I doesn't matter really. I mean think about it, why would someone need to know your name anyways on a forum?

Maybe they feel uncomfortable taking advise from someone calling him/herself Motoxrdude. :)

Motoxrdude
July 20th, 2007, 07:56 AM
Maybe they feel uncomfortable taking advise from someone calling him/herself Motoxrdude. :)

Whats wrong with my username?

Spr0k3t
July 20th, 2007, 09:06 AM
I hate to step on the toes of ESR, but it has never applied. I believe this single rant of his was to solo out those who bother hiding behind an ulterioristic trademark. Years before ESR started his beef with this style, many BBSs requested users to hide their identities behind "screen names". Even Compuserv demanded people to use a handle as they thought door games would be the cats meow prior to Tim B. Lee. I think back in 84 I had the handle of ^[8j;CLK>RAW (don't remember it exact, but it echo'd the bios clock to the display). When the escape character was removed from the list of viable options, I went to <invalid pointer>. A deviant I was... but I didn't care either. People knew who I was and that's what mattered.

Altarbo
July 20th, 2007, 09:41 AM
Hacker culture as described by Raymond is mostly absent from web forums. Elsewhere, such as mailing lists, Launchpad, the wiki and IRC, you'll see that almost everyone who contributes to Ubuntu uses their real names.Goliath!,

You should take the above quote to heart. It's very true, and I think it has a lot to do with differences between the nature of conversation that goes on in a public forum versus wikis and mailing lists. In this forum you're going to mostly find software support and casual discussion. Few people (relative to a wiki, IRC, or mailing list) are going to be organizing physical meetings or contstructive projects here. If those things begin here, they will probably migrate on to another form of communication where real world names will be used.

So: Goliath with exclamation point, welcome to the forums.

stepan2
July 20th, 2007, 01:33 PM
ESR also stated that you could not be a hacker unless you have been called a hacker by another hacker -- which must have presented quite a conundrum to the first hacker.

then how could the first hacker in the world be a hacker?

dca
July 20th, 2007, 02:08 PM
For the record, I've always used my initials even before ESR & RMS created the trend. That being said, me using Mel Gibson's DUI mugshot as my avatar has nothing to do w/ my personality or ideology as a *nix user or religiuosly...

Let's face it, anyone (regardless of being drunk or not) that has the b*lls to call a female deputy "sugar-t*ts" has issues...

lode
July 20th, 2007, 02:49 PM
As I explore the forums I don't see many (any?) people using their real names.

My name actually is Lode (I willfully dropped the majuscule, because I don't really like the look of the capital l, and because I'm terribly lazy); so, you've so far at least seen one person using his/her real name :)

It doesn't really bother me that many other people use the weirdest things (although I'm aware that 'lode' might sound strange to people speaking, let's say, English) to identify themselves*; as long as it's recognizable enough (eg: not having a Pownzor, Pwnzor and Pwnz0r on the same forums), it's fine by me :)

* Maybe this is the catch: that many people aren't too happy to be identified, albeit I doubt that possible evildoers could do much evil with only a (full) name (which I myself have fully placed on the internet on occasions). I am very discreet with my home adress and telephone number (among other things), however.

jeffc313
July 20th, 2007, 02:54 PM
well, my email is my full name, and my first name really is "Jeff" but as you can guess, that is too often taken, so i used my birthday (march 13) at the end. so i guess that makes two using real names.

LaRoza
July 20th, 2007, 03:04 PM
The book, which I recommend, is mainly refering to programmers and hackers, not forums. It would be foolish to use a weird name officially, but on the forums like this, you can use anything.

Some choose to use a variation of their real name, and some don't.

@trophy
July 20th, 2007, 04:26 PM
I am new to open source communities and social norms. Could you help me not make a fool of myself?

In The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Eric S. Raymond, 1993, p208, Raymond says:


Is this still true, almost 15 years later? Is it true in the Ubuntu community? When I registered on ubuntuforums.org I chose my name because it was literally the first thing that entered my mind. I appended the bang because goliath was already taken. Was this a mistake?

I can't help thinking that back in 1993 the internet was a very very different place. In 2007 I don't want to disclose my identity online because I'm truly afraid of the weirdos and other dangerously psychotic people out there. I'm afraid of accidentally offending some one online and later finding them on my doorstep with a shotgun. Not only do I have a family to think of, but also I'm rather fond of my life.

As I explore the forums I don't see many (any?) people using their real names. Is there a secret cabal of inner hackers laughing at all of us with handles?

Any comments?

Don't try to be a hacker, or a warez d00d, or punk, or anything else. Absolutely everyone on the planet is far too interesting to waste time trying to be something else. Just do whatever you want. As for your name... looks nice. No complaints here.

@trophy
July 20th, 2007, 04:28 PM
ESR also stated that you could not be a hacker unless you have been called a hacker by another hacker -- which must have presented quite a conundrum to the first hacker.

The voices in his head declared him to be a hacker.

maniacmusician
July 20th, 2007, 04:33 PM
then how could the first hacker in the world be a hacker?
there was no "first hacker". Hacking started in groups. So, logically, everyone in the group called another person in the group a hacker, and thus the world came to be.

Goliath!
July 27th, 2007, 05:04 PM
@Altarbo, actually my name is Goliath-bang :)

Thanks all for the thoughtful responses.