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Bug#872867: is ISO-3166 really the optimal list for our users?

On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 09:05:22AM +0200, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> On 24/08/17 08:51, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> > In the case of XYZ, "use a different distribution" isn't going to
> > silence such people. Instead, they'll just yell harder. "Debian's making
> > a political statement about XYZ, and it's wrong, and I told them that
> > it's wrong, and they're ignoring me!"
> >
> Including and excluding are different things
> Including extra "countries" may cause offense to people with certain
> political sensitivities, but doesn't cause any technical problem for
> people in other countries.

That may be true, but even so, those sensitivities are a hornet's nest
that we really don't want to be involved in.

> So if Debian has a policy that we favour inclusion over exclusion and
> that any country can be listed if at least one DD visits there and
> confirms it exists, is that political or would that be a policy that can
> be defended?

All disputed territories *exist*, and there will almost always be a
government that de facto rules the territory, that's not the point.
Whether a region is a country, however, is not something that Debian
Developers are expected to be able to ascertain.

I don't think that's a policy that can be defended.

> I wonder how long it would be before somebody proposed California or
> Scotland?  If they entered the list at the same time as Kosovo (and Hutt
> River) then it becomes a lot less political and the focus is not on a
> single region.

You're making the mistake of assuming that people who get upset over a
list of countries will check the whole list rather than just the bit
they care about...

Case in point: why would Kosovo *need* to be on the d-i list of
countries? Is there a difference between Kosovo and Serbia[1] or other
countries in the former Yugoslavia that d-i would need to be aware of
(such as locale settings, keyboard layout, time zone, or preferred
mirror), or is this bug in fact just the result of people with a
background of Kosovan nationalist ideology complaining about it to
you[2]? So far I've only seen you argue that "Kosovo needs to be on the
list that d-i presents," but I have not seen any technical arguments for
which that would in fact be necessary.

Put otherwise, is this request in fact a request about technical
matters, or is it instead a request about a political matter?

[1] In case that wasn't clear: Serbia is the country that Kosovo
    declared independence from in 2008.
[2] For clarity, I'm not saying they're right, and I'm not saying
    they're wrong. I'm not opposed to including Kosovo, even if it is
    technically not necessary, provided that it can be done in a
    politically neutral way.

> > Whatever solution you[1] come up with should avoid that.
> > 
> > [1] I'm assuming you're planning on submitting a patch, since you
> >     suggested this change in the first place...
> > 
> I would not want to waste time coding something before we have some
> consensus about what the community is comfortable with.

Sure, fair enough.

Could you people please use IRC like normal people?!?

  -- Amaya Rodrigo Sastre, trying to quiet down the buzz in the DebConf 2008

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