Avoiding Problems by Avoiding Decisions

Jason Keirstead jason at keirstead.org
Fri May 14 12:48:49 BST 2004

On May 13, 2004 11:50 am, George Staikos wrote:
>    The purpose of the KDE project is to create software, not practice politics 
> or take sides in arguments.  It has happened several times in the past that 
> we have found ourselves square in the middle of a conflict that we did not 
> start, were not particularly involved in, nor did we want to be involved. 

Ffor reference, the GNOME team has had a very simmlar ( and simmilarly ) heated discussion on this
subject as well, fairly recently, about shipping / not shipping flags:


In the end the decided to totally remove flags.

Just trying to make the point that country names are not even all that is sensitive; for example
calling Taiwan ( Provinc eof China ) is still not acceptable to the Chinese gvt. if you use the blue
Taiwan flag. A Debian maintainer even resigned over the issue:


The point is this is an extremely sensitive issue for some people. I think deferring to the ISO/UN
as George suggested ( even though *no* - I do not agree with some of their names, as Waldo pointed
out some are downright offensive to people who don't even live in the region ) is the best course of action.
KDE is not about defining politics, it is about creating and providing great software. We should avoid
being caught up in these messes as much as possible.

An ideal solution, perhaps, would be to co-ordinate with freedesktop.org so that GNOME and KDE and whoever
else could share a country list based on ISO/UN, and there could be a small i18n team at freedesktop.org that
could handle these kinds of sensitive political issues, even deviating from ISO where all members feel appropriate.
At the very least, it gives us some consistancy and somewhat of a standards body to back up why things are as
they are.

Anyways, the gist of it being I don't see how *any* of this discussion belong either on 1) bugs.kde.org or
2) kde-core-devel. It belongs on a list like kde-politics or something - nothing is going to get done as long
as everyone keeps spinning their tails replying to emails, in a thread that is going nowhere because the
viewpoints are so polar.

Thats my 0.02, I am making no more contributions to this thread :P

There is no way of having a free society in which there is not abuse. Abuse is the very hallmark of liberty.

-- Lord Chief Justice Halisham

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