Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Today I did an avalanche of changes in the Developer Guide. Changes in lf, ug, cg and book.

To “log in” or to “sign in”?

To “log in” or to “sign in”? What should we say? A controversial question! Google and Amazon say “Sign in”, Facebook and Wikipedia say “Log in”.

I remember that many years ago (before 2017, I couldn’t find the commit), I changed “Log in” to “Sign in” (and renamed LogIn to lino.modlib.users.SignIn).

It seems that “log in” is more popular than “sign in”. Wikipedia says that logging in (or logging on, signing in, or signing on) “is the process by which an individual gains access to a computer system by identifying and authenticating themselves”.

English teacher Dr. Jill Robbins, when asked about the differences between “sign in” and “log in”, explains that “unlike “log in,” “sign in” is common outside of the computer world.” She also explains where it comes from: “When a user logs in, the computer system keeps a record, or “log,” of that user’s session on the system.” (voanews.com)

I still think that saying “sign in” is more correct than saying “log in”. It means to tell our server who you are, basta. You don’t ask it to also keep a log of your visit. Maybe you are even reluctant to having the site log down your visit. In many countries the site owner must ask your permission (“May we use cookies?”) before doing so.