svn commit: r39233 - head/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/ports

Doug Barton dougb at
Thu Jul 19 19:46:38 UTC 2012

On 07/19/2012 08:24, Benedict Reuschling wrote:
> Am 19.07.12 12:22, schrieb Doug Barton:
>> On 07/19/2012 03:05, Benedict Reuschling wrote:
>>> Am 19.07.12 11:17, schrieb Doug Barton:
>>>> On 07/19/2012 02:12, Niclas Zeising wrote:
>>>>>   Suggested by:	Roger Magana <ram0042 [AT] hotmail [DOT] com>
>>>> Please don't obscure e-mail addresses in commit messages. It does
>>>> nothing to confuse the spammers, but it does make it more difficult to
>>>> see who has contributed what over the years; not to mention copying and
>>>> pasting addresses into e-mails for responding to those contributors.
>>> I'm a bit surprised by this.
>> I'm not sure why, since you've been around long enough to have seen me
>> ask people not to do it half a dozen times at least. :) I don't do it
>> every time obviously, just periodically.
> But isn't that highly inefficient in trying to achieve the goal? Instead
> of contacting individual committers and asking to change their
> behaviour, why not start a thread on developers about it or ask core
> about defining a global policy that committers must adhere to?

You're actually *asking* me to start another thread on the committer's
mailing list? :) A) People hate it when I do that, B) Most people ignore
them anyway.

... and don't get me started on core ...

>>> I've been doing this email-obscuring thing
>>> as long as I'm with the project. My mentor did it also, and as far as I
>>> can see it is done virtually by everyone,
>> That's not even close to true.
> Everyone is a strong word and hard to verify, how about "most committers"?

So if "most committers" jumped off a cliff .... :)

My understanding is that a non-zero number of the tools that many
committers use for ports work does this obscuring as the default, which
is where most of them come from. It would be great if we could get that
fixed too.

>>> We probably should discuss this on a project level if there are reasons
>>> not to do it (like you said, that spammers might not be driven away by
>>> it)
>> It isn't "might." It's been true since day 1 that there are no patterns
>> which are recognizable by humans that the spammers cannot trivially
>> harvest. All obscuring games do is make people feel better, and in our
>> case reduce the amount of useful information.
> True, humans can do the reverse-lookup (if you would describe it that
> way) fairly easily. But spammers don't surf the web, they use
> bots/computer programs because they can harvest more pages more quickly,
> but are having a hard time (unless they are told what to look for) with
> obscure emails. Of course, you can teach a program to recognize these as
> well, but that is not the point.

Yes, that is *entirely* the point. And btw, no, the harvester bots DON'T
have a hard time with "obscured" e-mail addresses. They never have. If
you don't believe me, do some research.

>>> and find other (read: better) ways to balance the attribution of
>>> contributors in commits and not making them spam-targets at the same time.
>> There isn't one. If you publish an e-mail address on the Internet, it
>> will get harvested.
> Yes, that it true and a fact we have to live with at the moment. But
> aren't you also trying to harvest the email address, but for a different
> (non-spam) purpose? We cannot assume everyone has good intentions when
> we publish information for everyone to see.

In fact, quite the contrary is true. We know that by publishing an
e-mail address, in any form, it's going to get harvested. Obscuring
e-mail addresses that came from a PR is doubly pointless because that
address has *already* been harvested.

> Let's say we omit the email address completely from the commit mails and
> just attribute the submitter by name. Now, you wrote you need to do copy
> and paste if you want to contact that person. How do you do it in that
> case, go into the actual PR and grab the mail address from there (which
> is not obscured in GNATS btw and is a much better hunting ground for the
> aforementioned spam harvesters)?

Why should people who want to contact contributors have to take that
extra step when we know that obscuring the e-mail address is pointless
in the first place? And what about those contributors who did not submit
a PR?

> If that is so, then propose such a
> solution so that all committers will comply with it when there is a
> common consent.

I _am_ proposing a solution. :) Stop obscuring e-mail addresses. Full stop.



    Change is hard.

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