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Re: Do not touch l10n files (was Re: DDTP issue)

On Wed, May 14, 2003 at 12:07:29PM +0200, Martin Quinson wrote:
> Your engagement for the quality of your package is really great. Only, I
> think that you are not responsible of the translation. I know that there is
> a lack in debian framework concerning this point, but it really should be so
> ('cause maintainer cannot be responsible for translations they do not
> understand. How do you handle tranlations in russian, japaneese and
> bokmal?).

This is a fundamental question for which there definitely isn't
consensus, and it is a fundamental polity (governance) issue.

One is that the linguistic teams have full and ultimate responsibility
over the translations, and there is no recourse or appeal if the
maintainer doesn't like what they have done.   

Another position is that the maintainer is ultimately responsible; he
or she may delegate responsibility to helpers, just as the Debian
Leader may delegate certain responsibilities to subordinates.
However, it is clear that the maintainer or the Debian Leader is
ultimately responsible, even if the wise maintainer and/or Debian
Leader may not choose to exercise his or her perogatives very often.

This point is a subtle one.  I will point out that in a corporate
setting, it's quite normal for the employer's manager and or his
manager's manager will not fully understand all of the work that that
the employee does.  Yet they are still responsible for the work of the
employee, and if they don't like it, they can tell the employee to do
things a different way, or in the extreme case, they can fire him.

Obviously, if the manager doesn't completely understand what the
employee is doing, there will be a certain negotiation, and a certain
back and forth over goals and directions and what is and isn't
technically possible, etc.  Hopefully, said negotiations will be done
in a mutally respectful and civil manner.  But that doesn't change the
fact that ultimately the manager gets to have the final say.

Which model people subscribe to makes a lot of difference in how they
communicate.  For example, if your manager doesn't like the work that you
do, even if you think his grounds for objecting may not be the best
ones, would you tell him, "tough luck"?   Probably not....

						- Ted

P.S.  To the extent that the DDTP gives the package maintainer veto
rights, it seems pretty clear that at least initially the DDTP
believed that the package maintainer was ultimately responsible.
Given comments and the tenor of the tone made by some of the people on
some of the language teams, it's not clear they believe that as
strongly today.

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