Disalienation: Why Gender is a Text Field on Diaspora

Sarah Mei, Weblog, Nov 30, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It's funny because we have come up with exactly the same issue, and for the record, sided with the 'gender is a text field' line of thinking. Because (in my view) it should not be up to your software to tell you what the allowed choices are for 'gender'. The problem, though, is that this has caused a rift in the Diaspora coding group, leading to one person walking off the project, saying "the five or six people who are supposed to be writing the code... have put strong, usable code last on their priorities. It comes behind marketing, behind ideology, and behind absurd identity politics." But these things are not absurd. Limiting decisions may make good crisp code, but it makes bad software. Via Marc Canter.
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