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Date:      Sun, 07 May 2000 22:17:27 -0700
From:      Doug Barton <DougB@gorean.org>
To:        Nik Clayton <nik@FreeBSD.ORG>
Cc:        Sean Kelly <kelly@ad1440.net>, doc@FreeBSD.ORG, jim@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Re: Credit where it's due
Message-ID:  <39164DE7.F99E6DE5@gorean.org>
References:  <000001bfb49e$f2a33d40$24d39580@jpl.nasa.gov> <20000504030430.A21461@catkin.nothing-going-on.org>

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Nik Clayton wrote:

> To give you an analogy, one of the things that really throws me everytime
> I see a Linux box booting up is the various copyrights as the boot probes
> go by.  I'd never expect to see a
> 
>     [...]
>     fxp0: <Intel EtherExpress Pro 10/100B Ethernet> rev 0x05 int a irq 10
>     fxp0: Driver written by David Greenman <dg@FreeBSD.org>
>     [...]
> 
> in FreeBSD.

	I wouldn't expect to see that either, but I don't think it's a valid
analogy. You don't _have_ to go to the handbook, you do have to use the
right device drivers for your stuff. Additionally, most of the code in
the system is a collaboration of multiple individuals, whereas handbook
sections are almost universally written by single authors, then updated
or improved in small ways over time. 

> I kind of feel the same way about the Handbook -- it's why there's no
> explicit credit for me in makeworld.html (although, oddly enough, there is
> one in the PPP chapter for some reason).

	It's certainly your choice to do what you will with what you write. I
have some of each. The ones I put my name on are ones that someone might
want to contact me about, and/or ones that I intend to show
professionally. 
 
> Having said that, I can completely see your point about public credit being
> a good and useful thing.

	More than just useful, a professional necessity in many cases. Having
previously been in the business of selling myself in this arena, it's
one thing to say, "Here's all the cool documentation I've written," vs.
"Let me show you some places where prominent companies/projects use my
work." 
 
> On the third hand, I don't want a situation whereby there's a honking big
> piece of text at the front of every chapter listing everyone who's ever
> submitted a patch to it.
> 
> On the fourth hand, nor do I particularly want the job of deciding whether
> someone's contribution is ``significant'' enough for a credit in the
> documentation (as opposed to the CVS logs).  That way lies madness.

	Agreed on both counts. 
 
> Perhaps a workable solution would be an "acknowledgements" block at the
> start of the Handbook (and/or FAQ), something like:
> 
>     The FreeBSD Documentation Project would like to acknowledge the work
>     of the following individuals.
> 
>       *  John Fieber, Documentation Project Manager, 1995-98
> 
>       *  Jun Kuriyama, principle liason, Japanese translation team
> 
>       *  Sean Kelly, author of much of the material in the _Printing_
>          chapter
> 
> and so on, and so forth, with no ``in chapter'' credits.

	My personal preference would be that the credit show up along with the
work. However, in order to avoid the insanity in points three and four
above, I'd say that this would be an acceptable compromise if the weight
of opinion goes against keeping the credit in the chapter. 

	There is another factor which should be considered. Part of the project
that doesn't get a lot of attention is the management of volunteers. For
all the noble thoughts, there is still an element of value for someone
doing the scut work to see their "name in lights," so to speak. Taking
credit away from those who deserve it would be a terrible shame, as well
as being a horrible message to send to our valuable volunteers. 

Doug
-- 
        "Live free or die"
		- State motto of my ancestral homeland, New Hampshire

	Do YOU Yahoo!?


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