Re: Username length limitation policy

On Fri, 2006-02-24 at 16:25 -0800, C.J. Adams-Collier wrote:

> Let me protest again to the contrary.  This "crusaide" is my
> introduction to the policies of the GNOME community.  This is a policy
> that, to my understanding, is not in place for any reason other than
> historical lack of support of "non-standard" authentication
> mechanisms.  If I cannot make a minor change here, how can I expect to
> make any change in the future?
> I am in essence asking the GNOME community to assert its ability to
> make reasonable requests of its members.  If the username length
> limitation policy is reasonable, I will adhere to it.  It has not,
> IMHO, been proved reasonable just yet.
> The amount of annoyance I experienced having to explicitly use
> 'v-cjcoll@' and 'cjcoll@' for commands such as ssh in the past (often
> requiring modification of otherwise-standard shell scripts) is larger
> than this petitioning process, and I will continue discussing it with
> the community until someone explains to me how the world is a better
> place by my acceptance of this policy.
> My hopes is that future users will also benefit from my work to amend
> this policy.

The policy is in place because it guarantees, *GUARANTEES* that all
services on GNOME production servers will be available to all users.

You cannot make the same guarantee if we switch. You're willing to be a
guinea pig, but you'll be a guinea pig for a change in process that *is
not necessary*. There is absolutely no good reason to change this
policy. In fact, there's no reason at all (never mind a good reason)
other than, "CJ wants to."

It is your responsibility to show why a change in policy that serves the
community well is necessary. Not desirable. Not cool. Necessary.

It is NOT the responsibility for anyone involved in GNOME development or
administration to explain to you why the policy is in place to YOUR

Again ...

The policy is in place because it guarantees, *GUARANTEES* that all
services on GNOME production servers will be available to all users.

That's the answer you get. If it doesn't satisfy you, well there's
really nothing we can do about that, is there?

> I am a patient man.  I view my contributions to GNOME as a long-term
> investment.  A slight policy modification now will save me many hours
> of tedious work over the span of the rest of my life.  I view the
> further deprecation of gtkglarea during the span of this policy
> amendment discussion as an acceptable cost, when viewed in this
> perspective.

Then be patient enough to make simple shell aliases like:

alias menubar='ssh kvf menubar gnome org'
alias container='ssh kvf container gnome org'
alias window='ssh kvf window gnome org'
alias button='ssh kvf button gnome org'

My local username is not my GNOME username. It took me all of 5 minutes
to surmount this "problem."

> In your own words,  "you can't have your desired username (which I
> could not, either)."  It seems to me that it is in fact a problem for
> someone other than me.  Ross also expressed that he has come up
> against this issue as well.

You're assuming that I wanted a username in excess of 8 characters,
which is not true.

When I joined I wanted the username "mneptok." I have used mneptok as an
IRC nick for almost 15 years. The three major mneptok.* TLDs are
registered to me. Probably more people on the Internet know me as
mneptok than know me by my real name.

Well, it was against policy. Even though other users (like Ross and his
"ninja" username) had been grandfathered in.

Choice 1: Cause a huge stink, make sysadmins spend their time explaining
policies to me rather than do actual productive work, and sulk like a
child because I couldn't be "mneptok" on GNOME's servers.

Choice 2: Accept the policy and start being productive and helping in
the efforts of my favorite Linux desktop.

Guess which I chose?

> Please re-state this.  I do not know what you mean by "consequence."

Nothing has broken or been delayed or otherwise been a major issue
regarding username length. Well, until now.

> I do not know what a "tempest in a teapot" is.

tempest in a  teacup/teapot
A great disturbance or uproar over a matter of little or no importance.

> What would such a wall look like?  It seems to me that (at least)
> three contributors to the GNOME project have had problems with this
> policy.  This sounds like a wall to me.

It has not adversely affected the development of GNOME. More time has
been spent explaining to you why this policy exists and justifying it
than was ever spent trying to deal with this non-issue before.

Does that sound like a wall to you? Are you willing to break down that
wall and let us all move on to more productive work? 

> My single selfish expectation from contributing to the Free Software
> community is that my works be remembered, and my name be remembered
> with them.  Therefore, I contribute Free Software under the username
> cjcollier, not cjcollie, cjcoll, or v-cjcoll.
> This issue is not stopping me from being a productive contributor to
> the larger Free Software community.  I publish daily under the Free
> Document License and General Public License as
> cjcollier colliertech org   All I am asking from the GNOME community
> is that I also be allowed to publish as cjcollier gnome org 

Ah, so it's about selfish pride. Not a good reason to abandon a policy
that works perfectly well; well, except for you.

I think it's safe to assume that the majority of GNOME developers would
rather not risk breaking services for everyone solely in order to
assuage your ego.

A e-mail alias is reserved for Foundation members.

And your domain is, not

And your real name in your e-mail client is CJ Adams-Collier.

What's next? You want cj-adams-collier as a username?




> I believe we should address the issue before we move on.  There have
> been no arguments made for the current policy of username length
> limitation other than conventional wisdom and a claim that 8-character
> usernames are more scalable.

Eight character usernames are more scalable. Eight character usernames
are know to work with the services we have. Eight character usernames
present no potential problems or interruptions of GNOME development.
Eight character usernames were a policy decided upon by smart people
that carefully weighed the issue.

On the opposing side, > eight character usernames are something CJ wants
because of self-described selfish reasons.

I think that's all that needs to be said. I think you need to let go,
and move on.


kurt von finck
mneptok mneptok com
public key at:
server key id: 5229D26A
Success is more a function of consistent common sense than it is of
genius. - An Wang

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