Email-Adresses in clear text

Christopher Faylor
Wed Sep 26 00:07:00 GMT 2007

[I was trying to do what I suggested and stop sending off-topic messages
here but the last few messages contained some inaccuracies which needed
to be corrected.]

On Tue, Sep 25, 2007 at 05:53:19PM -0400, Paul Smith wrote:
>Third, your claim that hiding email addresses is "minimal courtesy" is
>actually not true, at least not in the open source world.  Here, we are
>all proud of the contributions we make, since notoriety is our only
>payment; obfuscating email addresses, while not uncommon, is certainly
>not universal enough to be considered "common courtesy".  We have long
>ago learned that hiding email addresses is largely useless, so instead
>we have turned to spam filtering with a great deal of success.  And, has
>been pointed out, the fact that email addresses are not hidden on the
>sourceware lists is no secret: it's stated quite clearly on the web
>Hope this helps diffuse the situation somewhat...

Thanks for the reasoned response, Paul.

I have to point something out however.  We DO obfuscate the email
addresses on the html archives.  See, for example:

The policy about not editing the archives is for people who inexplicably
include their email addresses in the body of their messages.  Sometimes
these people include their phone numbers and other personal data too.

We've received complaints from people who claim not to know that the
email that they send to a mailing list would end up on a web site
somewhere and who demand that we do them the service of removing this
data.  The policy was an attempt to make it clear what we will and
will not do and the "fee" was intended as a further deterrent for
people who thought that maybe someone would do them "a favor" "just
this once".

If it isn't obvious to someone that no one is getting rich (or even
getting coffee money) from editing the email archives at
then it seems that they haven't spent too much time thinking about the
issue.  If we were raking in money for this, then you'd be seeing
lots of complaints in the gcc, gdb, binutils, cygwin, *and* crossgcc
mailing lists.

In fact, what I usually do when someone asks to have their data edited
is tell people that it is pointless since their data has been archived
elsewhere.  If they still insist then, depending on how obnoxiously they
have been insisting, I often just remove the data for free.  In case you
want to know what guideline I'd use here - I'd definitely charge Jon S.
Shapiro for this service.

The *ftp* archives are not the same thing as the web archives, however.
Until a couple of days ago I, and presumably other administrators, had
assumed that the separate archives in ftp also had obfuscated email
addresses.  Now I know that's not the case and I have received buy-in
from other administrators to remove these.  So this issue should now be
at a close.


For unsubscribe information see

More information about the crossgcc mailing list