[Ossm-members] [siward.via at freeler.nl: Re: Two Macedonias]

Anton Zinoviev anton at lml.bas.bg
Sat Sep 25 07:08:56 UTC 2004

----- Forwarded message from siward <siward.via at freeler.nl> -----

From: siward <siward.via at freeler.nl>
Subject: Re: Two Macedonias
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 03:58:00 +0200
To: debian-project at lists.debian.org
Cc: Anton Zinoviev <anton at lml.bas.bg>,
	Christian Perrier <bubulle at debian.org>,
	"John Manganas" <jmanganas at hotmail.com>,
	John Summerfield <debian at ComputerDatasafe.com.au>,
	Konstantinos Margaritis <markos at debian.gr>,
	Ognyan Kulev <ogi at fmi.uni-sofia.bg>,
	Steve Langasek <vorlon at debian.org>,
	debian-l10n-hellas at lists.debian.org
X-Mailer: KMail [version 1.3.2]

Hi all,

Steve Langasek wrote :
> I don't see a reason for Debian to use any name at all for the Greek
> province of Macedonia.  From Debian's standpoint, there is no namespace
> collision here; Debian's locale system generally only needs to know
> about top-level, autonomous territories.

  I agree that in the namespace of autonomous territories
  there is no collision at all.
But Debian exists in more namespaces than only that one.

Debian exists in the real world.
Therefore the namespaces of the real world affect Debian.
This may not be very readily apparent to Debian developers
  working on the inside of Debian (my own $LANG is C too),
  so please take a step back for a moment,
    to consider this from a distance and get a broader view,
  and consider that Debian's users are also part of what Debian is.
If you do not agree to this, i hope you'll at least agree that
  the way our users experience Debian is part of Debian.
This is not merely a theoretical observation,
  it has direct practical implications.
For example:
  suppose Debian used 'Macedonia' for Republic Macedonia,
  and suppose that people in Florina (in Greek Macedonia (i hope))
  want to install Debian Sarge.
They start the installer,
  see they have the possibility to choose 'Macedonia',
  and choose that.
Thereby getting the whole installer in a slavic language
  that they not only may not understand,
  but which they associate with
   'having stolen one of their important groupnames'. 

Whether Debian users are more capable of
  reasonable thought than average citizens or not,
  in this case it would be Debian that failed :
  Debian failed to provide a reasonable choice from which a reasonable
    user could reasonably determine that another country was meant.
As we know that this is considered insulting to our users in this case,
  this failure constitutes a policy violation
  against article 4 of our own Social Contract.
Debian can not use 'Macedonia' for Republic Macedonia.

I would like to stress that we do not discriminate against anybody.
Should the Greek government decide that
  in the interest of the spread of democracy, which is part of Greek culture,
  it should have more votes in the UN,
  and, to further this magnificent cause,
  split its country up into several hundred independent citystates,
  then a countryname for GreekMacedonia would similarly need to be chosen
  in a way that avoids ambiguity, and
   does not unnecessarily make our users feel insulted or mistreated.

To the ones that called Kyrie Margaritos a 'seller of his country' :
  You have effectively restricted his right to freely speak his mind.
  And you have done so by name-calling, which is insulting.
  Thus you have taken away from me the possibility to discuss this with him,
    so that i might maybe convince him,
    and thus you have reached the opposite of what you wanted.
  Granting your fellow humans the right to their freedom
    is how things should be done.
  And this is even more strongly true if
    you share a social group with that person.
  In this case you had also the possibility to say to him :
  "Kyrie Margaritas, you are giving the impression that
    you speak for all Greek people, but our opinion is the opposite of yours,
    would you please make it clear that you express only your own opinion ?"
  I expect he would have.
  But you did not give him the opportunity to show that.
  You were wrong.
  I think you owe him an apology.

So we still have not solved the question what would be
  the best name to use to indicate Republic Macedonia,
  specifically in the installer.

Anton Zinoviev wrote :
> I am sure that nobody from Republic of Macedonia will complain
>   if Debian uses this longer name instead of simply Macedonia.

I fear that 'nobody' here is an overstatement.
Furthermore, this longer name is not the only possibility :
  from the reactions to this thread so far,
  the name could be something like :
  "Former-Yugoslavrepublic Slavic Republic of
    Servo-Bulgarian-Albanian-Gipsy Macedonia of the Tall People".
I dont think anyone would find that acceptable,
  if only because it doesnt fit in the installer screen :-).

Also, Anton, as far as I know you are not a Macedonian,
  and I think that it would be most desirable in itself if
  this choice could be made by Macedonians themselves,
  as far as possible.
For this discussion i eagerly await the reaction of the group of potential
  translators that brought up the subject.
Without their input Debian will, i think, have little other alternative
  then to tag the bug 'awaing bugsubmitter feedback',
  and consequently not changing anything.

Christian, did you already forward this to them ?
I do think they should absolutely be told about it,
  lest they not be considered directly responsible for
  a loathed name for their country being in Debian
  due to their laxness
  when they never had the opportunity to respond.
Also i would have liked to CC this mail to them.

John Manganas writes :
> Their leaders are trying to steal a greek name [that is] associated with
> 1. Great history
> 2. Great civilization
> 3. Great culture (Aristotle)
> 4. Great kings (Philp and Alexander the Great,
>     the Macedonian Dynasty in the Byzantine Empire etc.)
> and use this name as a binding factor
>   for the different minorities [in Republic Macedonia].
> Greek culture transcends the borders of Greece.
> Greek culture belongs to every individual in this planet.

I would not want to prevent anyone from striving for such high ideals,
  and i wish the RepublicMacedonian leaders good luck with
  trying to avoid civil war amongst the peoples of their country.
But care must be taken to not unduly in this process
  disadvantage others, specifically Greek Macedonians.

By the way, John,
  on Debian mailinglists, stressing a point is done by _underscoring_ it.

Konstantinos Margaritos writes :
> The event that Greek government will take actions is highly unlikely, 
> since they are (partly) responsible for all this mess today. 
That has never stopped anybody from behaving unreasonably afaik.

> two nations that have lived next to each other for centuries,
> feel hostile to each other. 
This is another reason that a RepublicMacedonian Debian group
  would be a good thing.
Happily i see there is already a LUG in Skopje :

Ognyan Kulev writes :
> This makes me laugh.

Well, no doubt i have my silly sides.
I trust you speak your true feelings, so i am not offended.
I thought about using exim -f to send some mails as "Ognyan Kulev",
  but decided against it as this does not seem to be your point.
I agree with Konstantinos that LOL should not be overdone.
I hope you had a nice laugh :-)

Steve Langasek writes :
> these are subtle political reasons
Not really ;
While i do believe that topquality politicians can think about politics
  as subtly as a database specialist can think about databases,
  the current problem is as subtle as Y2K.

> No one feels the need to disambiguate
>   the former Soviet republic Georgia from the US state Georgia
While perhaps only God knows the whole truth,
  i think that this is a very good general point.
Likewise, in the Netherlands the province 'Noord Brabant' is
  directly adjacent to Belgium's 'Brabant',
  because they were one territory in the middle ages,
  yet our governments are not specially paranoid about the
  possibility that this might cause a problem.
The important difference between these cases and the Macedonias,
  i think, is that RepublicMacedonia was a very young nation
  without proven stability.
A book on projectmanagement in which i read said that
  the resistance to change
    is far more than proportional to the number of changes.
Greeks have now had time to become accustomed to
  having a neighbourstate that claims to be 'Macedonia',
  and have afaik not experienced claims of this new state to their territory.
Therefore i am hopefull that now,
  several years after FYROM was coined as a substitute countryname,
  there will be much less problems
  when trying to arrange matters to all our users' satisfaction,
  provided that our heart is pure and our position is sound.

M.J.Ray writes :
> Should we follow the Republic of Macedonia, the EU foreign ministers, 
> ISO or someone else?
You as a person should follow your reason and your heart, in my opinion.
You as a Debian developer should follow the Social Contract.
but it is not i that should remind you of that.

Make Love, not war,



Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out,
  they leave the west behind,
and Moscow girsl make me sing and shout,
  that Georgia's always on my mind
                                      -- The Beatles, "Back in the USSR".

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