Avoiding Problems by Avoiding Decisions

George Staikos staikos at kde.org
Thu May 13 23:33:38 BST 2004

On Thursday 13 May 2004 16:34, Allan Sandfeld Jensen wrote:
> Exactly. The international standard are set by the strongest parties, or
> are just temporay comprises to make any political work possible. Where as
> features and strings in KDE are set for usability issues, and not for
> political agendas.
> There are several problems with using the ISO list:
> 1. In some cases it directly offensive to the people that are supposed to
> find their countries (se Waldo's two examples above).
> 2. Only recognized countries are in. In KDE we might want support oppresed
> minority groups, or just distinct regions (Catalan or Tibet locale?).
> 3. The discription strings tend to get way too long, when no sensible
> comprise have been found.
> 4. They are sometimes in contrast with common use.
> I admit however that such a pragmatic solution is not without costs,
> besides this rediculous discussion, there are consequences elsewhere.
> Recently the Debian maintainer Herbert Xu  left the Debian project, because
> during an equally heated discussion it was pointed out that some Debian
> packages, namely kcontrol, already called Taiwan: Taiwan.
> But like in the case with Niel Stevens, we can't really be responsible for
> the lack of tolerance in extremists developers.

   Ok I can only judge by these responses that what I am saying is not clear.

   1) We do not have the right to decide who is and who is not a country, nor 
do we have the ability or facilities to determine this ourselves.  Nor can we 
determine what they should be called.  Period.  I don't see -how- you can 
debate this.  We may have this one day (when there is no more code to 
write?), but we most definitely don't now.

   2) We are hypocrites if we decide to ignore a standards body such as ISO 
because we want to make a political statement (which is -exactly- what it is 
when we make our own country list and edit it as we feel fit to do), but them 
complain that software companies don't follow open standards.

   3) I don't care what that list says about Taiwan, Greece, Macedonia, 
Canada, or any other country.  If I have a problem with it, I'll take it to 
ISO.  If you don't like the standard, take it to ISO, or create your own 
proper standard with the other opensource projects.  If I have a problem with 
the design of email, which I do, I don't rework kmail to follow my own 
standard instead because I think it's better.  I would propose my changes in 
an RFC or similar.

   So, I propose taking an international standard and basing a [controversial] 
decision on that, irrespective of content, and I am declared to be acting in 
national interest of various countries.  Meanwhile, the accusers insist on 
retaining full control of the contents simply so that they can -arbitrarily- 
dictate who is included on the list, who is not, and what they will be 
called.  *wow*

George Staikos
KDE Developer				http://www.kde.org/
Staikos Computing Services Inc.		http://www.staikos.net/

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