My ethos for sharing code

A recent discussion around the way we write and share small helper scripts inside Automattic made me think a lot about why I do things the way I do and why I am against “authorship attribution” in shared code.

The views I have are strong and I think a good guiding principle for working collaboratively with your peers especially in Open Source projects:

I am very strongly against authorship attribution – it puts up a barrier to contribution by setting a subconscious ownership barrier around things.

I give you my code to do as you wish, I mold your code to do as I wish, I blame early and often when searching for bugs, and I expect you to have forgotten you wrote the tool I’m asking you about especially if you committed it yesterday!

What is your ethos and what do you think of mine?



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