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Re: why must Debian call Taiwan a "Province of China"?

On Sun, Apr 04, 2004 at 07:28:49PM -0600, Paul E Condon wrote:
> Given what I understand of the politics and history of Taiwan/China, I 
> think it is unlikely that the two use the same language *in every detail*.
> Particularly, I doubt that their usage of technical language jargon is the
> same.

I'm just a naïve gaijin[1], but I'm not sure you're right about that.
Written zh_CN and zh_TW look very similar to Western eyes.  I've seen a
comparison of the two in some Sun documentation, and they really just
looked like the exact same glyphs in two different fonts.  Like look at
English lettering in bold versus normal weight.  (Not *exactly* like
that, but close).

Sun Microsystems has a lot of expertise in this area.

We have nothing to gain by taking sides political conflicts like this.
The Debian OS can be customized by regional interests if needed.
Beijing and Taipei can each make their own politically-correct forks of
Debian if they need to, deleting offensive nomenclature about the other
country.  Similarly, Kurds in Iraq or Turkey may create "Kurdistan
GNU/Linux", to the irritation of the Turkish government and the U.S.
occupation force in Iraq.  Chechen rebels or Basque separatists could
fork Debian, too.

IMO, we should neither try to take a strong position on these
politically explosive issues, nor should we try to walk on eggshells.
I think we should take a similar approach as we do to package
management.  If we have developer(s) willing to vouch for legitimacy of
a locale, and willing to maintain support for it, we should include it.

If some governmental interest needs to bowdlerize our distribution to
satisify their political sensibilities, they can go ahead.

I think it says a lot about Debian success that we've come as far as we
have -- we're a long way from worrying about fortunes-off and the Purity
Test.  Now we're worried about pissing off governments.  :)

If any Chinese would like to offer me some education on this subject in
private mail, please feel free.  I have read the Wikipedia article on
the Republic of China[3] already, though.

[1] Yes, I know that's not a Chinese word.

[2] At the same time, from my modest knowledge of Chinese history since
1949, it's hard to find "neutral" terminology.  Neutral terms about this
issue seem to get perverted over time into euphemisms for either
unificiation or independence, and then become political footballs.

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_China

G. Branden Robinson                |    I reverse the phrase of Voltaire,
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    and say that if God really existed,
branden@debian.org                 |    it would be necessary to abolish
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    him.             -- Mikhail Bakunin

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