[Ossm-members] macedonian name discussion on debian-project

linuxlists at float.lefant.net linuxlists at float.lefant.net
Mon Sep 27 08:54:00 UTC 2004


the intent of my initial post to this list was to inform you about the
ongoing discussion.

i'm pleased to read on the other list that you have been included into
the discussion of-list and that there seems to be a reasonable way of
treating the problem underway (judging from Christian Perrier's latest

still i think it would be practical for you to prepare sth. like an
official statement of your organisation that can be used for future
discussions on that matter.

since i've been offline that weekend and had some spare time i prepared
some statement in that matter for myself. It is just a piece of personal
opinion but if you like it feel free to use some of the wording.
[attached text file]

having that said i'm going on to observe the discussion and try to
minimize my input, since i believe that although i feel the urge to say
something i'm not sure if i really have something to say ;).

ffpx float

ps: just as a point of interest, the practice that is followed by at
least one austrian professor for eastern european history, and probably
in many faculties in austria, is to refer to the republic as
"makedonien" and to the province and ancient greek culture as
"mazedonien", though i think that's not practical for real world. still
an interesting aproach.

                       _        |    .''`.Florian Klinglmueller   
ASCII ribbon campaign ( )       |   : :'  :debian-ppc user        
 - against HTML email  X        |   `. `'`                      
             & vCards / \       |     `- float at jabber.org          
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Inspired by a recen discussion on debian-project, i decided put my humble opinion about how to treat naming conflicts that exist with "The Republic of Macedonia" and the northern greek "Province of Macedonia" within open source projects, into some structured wording:

1) I, as an international volunteer working in the republic of macedonia, would like to see the country, that I'm currently working in, refered to as "Macedonia" the people of this country called "Macedonian[s]". I would also like to see the language of the by now largest ethnicity of that country refered to as "Macedonian". Concerning the name of the state I also see the possibility to use "Republic of Macedonia" like I use it in this text and as it is used in the states constitution. I strongly reject the use of attributes, inflating the present political status and the integrity of that state such as "Former Yugoslav Republic", within a possible name. 

2) I am aware of the naming conflict concerning this state and the northern province of their neighbour country greece. I believe that in both cases history provides plausible reason for the use of Macedonia within the name. Since these reasons involve different historical eras or eras when in some way their ancestors shared the same history, I think none of them owns the exclusive right for the use of the historical name Macedonia. Furthermore it is my opinion that such thinking would strongly conflict with integral parts of Free Software Philosophy. But as there is no colision in the namespace of independent states I don't see a major problem why the name should not be used by both communities.

3) I believe that Free Software Projects as long as understood as community projects should search for solutions to problems within the community and not simply follow the decisions of institutions outside the community. Thus regarding previous decisions in that matter, as they have been made by various institutions, outside the Free Software community, especially regarding to the latest decision by the Council of Europe, I want to stress that those decisions cannot reflect the opinion of the Free Software community even if they had the same result as a decision made by the comunity. Furthermore I think incorporating the decisions of alien institutions, might be practical in legal terms or in terms of preventing lengthy discussions, but would finally jeopardize the Freedom of Free Software.

4) Having that stated I have to leave the final decision to the community. But I hope that inside the Free Software Community we can find an independent solution that satisfies the greek community and the "macedonian" community, without having to repeat the stupidity that has happened on the political level, which not only has brought essential economic damage to the republic of macedonia but most importantly built up walls between them and their neighbours. If we might not be able to make a difference in the political world, we should at least try within the Free Software world.
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