September 2011 Archives

Authors vs. Contributors

I’ve been giving some thought over the weekend to ‘Authors’ vs. ‘Contributors’ as credits in module documentation.

For reasons I can’t remember but can almost justify still I’ve been submitting modules to (the) CPAN with myself listed as the Author and any subsequent patches are credited as a Contributor.

As a Dist::Zilla user I’ve been thinking that it would be nice to have dist.ini accept ‘contributors = Jane Doe’ data in much the same way it does with authors.

My investigations into a plugin for Dist::Zilla hit a roadblock when I realised that I’d need to either fudge things horribly or fork dzil, submit a patch and pray they accept it.

Since this is more work that just writing a plugin I took the time to stop and think.

  • Is there any difference between an Author and the Contributors?
  • Am I placing too much self-importance on myself as the creator of a distribution?
  • Should Contributors be listed as Authors?

I’ve not been able to perform an exhaustive search of (the) CPAN but there are a couple of distrubutions that use Contributors:

If it’s good enough for the ‘big three’ does that mean it’s inherently okay for me to use?

Should I embark on a branched piece of work to add ‘contributors’ to Dist::Zilla?

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