Greetings, all.  So...I was re-reading (well, actually re-skimming) Pete McBreen's book Software Craftsmanship, which I think has a lot of interesting observations.

One of the things he calls for is a return to the practice of letting software teams insert their names into the product.  Some products, especially games, still do this, often through the About Box or some other fairly visible location.  At Microsoft, these would often be hidden in the product, to be unleashed only with a secret keystroke or other special sequence.  The motivation behind this is to increase each contributor's personal attachment to the product, both giving them personal credit and also publicly linking their reputation to that of the product.

A few years back, Microsoft's upper management banned Easter Eggs, apparently because customers such as governments were (understandably) displeased at the thought of secret code, presumably poorly tested, being inserted into software they were purchasing.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the banning of Easter Eggs seems to have also banned credit screens in Microsoft products.  Certainly it should be harmless to list contributors' names in a non-secret place such as the help documentation, a screen off the About Box, or somewhere on the web and avoid the disadvantages of'secret code paths.

Personally, I like McBreen's arguments about why contributors' names should be attached to software.  If your reputation is on the line, you're more likely to go the extra mile.  Plus, if you see a product you like then it's easy to find out who was behind it, as you can do today in the film industry.

What do you think?

-Chris