Craeg Strong wrote:
> It seems the word "Principal" is ubiquitous in security-related
> software: see
> Microsoft dot Net Principal [1]
> Kerberos [2]
> [1]
> [2]
> There are lots of other examples of its use. Just do a google search for
> "security principal"

Yes, thank you. I obviously should have done that before writing the
email. The idea came to me spontaneously while talking on IRC. So did
the constructive proposal regarding the new name. I still like it, but I
agree that well-established terminology is very important. I just wonder
how well-established "principal" really is (yeah, I know, J2EE and .NET
are pretty big establishments).

My biggest argument was that the understanding of a word is closely
connected to suitable and appropriate translations of it. So, my
question is, if big projects like J2EE and .NET have it, how do they
translate it? A quick google (I did it this time! ;)) showed that a
German translation doesn't seem to exist -- the English word is quoted
all the time. So, in the end, it means as much to a German person as
Fahrvergnügen*) means to an English speaker..

> I think we should be careful before departing from common terms for API
> concepts lest we violate the
> "principle of least surprise"  ;-)

I agree; however, one should question even well-established terms once
in a while. We've had a good year or two experimenting with the
acceptance of "principal". I wonder what people think; at least noone
here stood up for "principal" because he believed that this term really
fits the concept... (because it doesn't; the word denotes the headmaster
of an American school :))


*) Fahrvergnügen (German: joy of driving) was a slogan used by
Volkswagen in US commercials some time ago; the word is an American
colloquialism now, but generally unknown in its meaning.
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