[Ossm-members] two macedonias: summary

Новица Наков novica at bagra.org
Mon Sep 27 17:09:01 UTC 2004

I'm writing this e-mail in English, so that float (and maybe some other 
no-macedonian-speaking people on this list, if there are any, can read it.) 

This morning I received the following e-mail from Christian Perrier. I didn't 
check if this is already forwarded on this list. If it is, sorry for double 
posting. Bellow it is the reply I wrote.
From: Christian Perrier <bubulle at debian.org>
To: siward <siward.via at freeler.nl>
CC: leader at debian.org, debian-project at lists.debian.org, novica at bagra.org

Today 07:21:46

(Martin, feel free to drop this to the waste bin....you probably have
more important issues to deal with... At the moment, my opinion is
that the MK case is properly handled and will be properly sorted out)

Quoting siward (siward.via at freeler.nl):
> Hi all,

.../... hundreds of line of inintelligible mail where I cannot even
find some valid points except blind accusations of supposedly "criminal
negligence" or whetever else....original mail may be found on the
debian-project mailing list archives.

Mr "Siward whose real name I'm not aware of"....I have bringed this
issue after discussing with Novica Nakov from, yes it exists, the
"Free Software Macedonia" group, after discussing with him about a possible
localisation of the Debian Installer in the Macedonian language.

The discussion showed me that Macedonian people had a strong issue
with the Debian project about this country name for MK. We probably
cannot start working on some MK localisation before this issue is
sorted out.

This is why I asked them to file a bug report against the relevant
package, explaining them how to do this.

In the past, I have already been forced to deal with another country
name issue: all DD will remember the case of the TW name in late
April-May. This case was finally sorted out and, given the reactions
since then, it was sorted out quite well. I regretted that one
important Debian developer, namely Herbert Xu, choosed to resign after
this but most people I have met/talked to since that have agreed they
were surprised by this decision.

This TW issue costed me weeks of work which would have been more
valuably invested in Debian Installer l10n work. But I felt this
important enough for being properly handled.

The absence of reactions since then showed me it was properly handled,
after listening to different parties arguments.

The current MK issue costs me hours of work while I should better work
on some important Debian Installer l10n issues. But, again, I feel my
duty as partly responsible for Debian installer l10n to sort this out
properly...because I don't want MK people

In the specific case of TW (...but even MK) my own personal feeling is
that we should keep the names uses in ISO-3166. As you can see, this
is exactly the opposite of what was done in the TW issue and what will
be done in the MK issue.

I'm afraid I'm grown up enough for knowing that compromises are often
the best way to handle controversial issues. So, we're doing a
compromise for the best of all involved parties.

After this, you know, as always in Debian, the final decisions are
made by the people who just do the job. This is why I mentioned the
final decision here would be made by Alastair, with some input from
myself probably. This is just because we are people who do the job
and, well, I think we are doing it quite well.

Alastair has always shown that he is a responsible person and thus I
think the Debian community may reward him for a correct decision on
that case. And the input I have already received in the past years
shows me that I personnally have some credit for the same reasons (I
hate to appear arrogant as this is often the caricature for French

So, for God's sake, please let us sort this out properly with all
elements (including the release schedule) in our hands.

Reverting back to "FYROM" is not an option.
Using "Macedonia" is not an option.
Waiting too long is not an option (please read debian-boot for Debian
Installer schedules)

These have been demonstrated over and over by the discussions
which took place.

The former discussion lead to "Macedonia, Republic of" as the best (or
the less worse) compromise.

Please let us do our job. This is, by the way, what George
Papamichelakis and Konstantinos Margaritis have already
requested. Please let them do their job quietely and don't bother them
with an issue they have already explained they didn't want to hear
about anymore.

From: <novica at bagra.org>
To: Christian Perrier <bubulle at debian.org>
Today 09:11:21

Hm, I was just writing to Anton to ask him if I should
reply something to the debian list since there are some
people there that want us to. So I'm writing a short reply
to your e-mail and bellow I'll write some more, and if you
want to you can forward this to the list.

> The discussion showed me that Macedonian people 
> had a strong issue with the Debian project about 
> this country name for MK.
> We probably cannot start working on some MK 
> localisation before this issue is
> sorted out.

This is not quite true. :) As I said earlier localizing
debian will end up on FSM's agenda as soon as there are
people availiable to work on the localization.  I think
that debian is important and as one of FSM 's jobs is
_promoting_free_software_, debian is surely one thing we
would like to support. 

The name issue is strong, that is true. We want it changed
as a sign of good will, mutual cooperation, social and
political implications, human rights... and so on.

Hello to everyone on the list (if this mail gets there).

This thread has wasted much of your time, so I'll try to be
short. The name Macedonia, FYRO (or FYROM) is offensive and
we want it changed. The reason we want this changed is well
written in the UN chapter. That is every country has the
right to choose its name. 

We woul prefer Macedonia, and we will have no problem with
Macedonia, Rebulic of. as Macedonia is short from Republic
of Macedonia, (similar with France being short from
Republic of France).

Yes, I know there is an issue with Greece. Yes, there is a
teritory in Greece that has the same name. Yes, there is a
lot of talk about the history of these regions. Different
people or groups or governments in different times claim
different things about different historical, political and
social stuff. 

Yes, I know you want to stick to ISO-3166, and that most of
the time you want to stay away from politics. But
unfortunatly, as ISO-3166 is based on UN list of countries,
and as UN is a political institution, and as interest
groups work with success there, ISO-3166 is a political
derivate. It is so political that in this case they even
ignore their own charter.

The fact is that there is a country here, and it has a
name. Under the UN charter it should have its name. I don't
want to write on current or past politics and history here,
and I don't want to flame anyone. If  someone wants to have
some kind of political discussion we could have it on
private e-mail.

So we are sticking to international law, or in this case
the closest thing to it - the UN charter. We want to use a
name that we choose. We want Macedonia. And if we can't
have it, we want to choose another name. We will probably
go with "The country temporary know as the Klingon
Republic" - and I'm not joking about this. 


Novica Nakov
Free Software Macedonia

So this is the official statement of Free Software Macedonia. It is possible 
that after reading the thread on list.debian.org..... some people from MK (or 
from this list) would like to go head-to-head with some of the greek users, 
or with someone else. As we cannot control everything, I will ask everyone 
here one more time not to engage in such discussion that could evolve in 
flame wars. For FSM the discussion ends here, and we will wait to see what 
Alastair will decide. 


The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham
breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'.

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