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Re: Use of the first person in messages from the computer

Quoting Niels Thykier (niels@thykier.net):
> On 2012-02-09 13:20, Ian Jackson wrote:
> > I have just received a review by a l10n team of a package of mine.
> > 
> > The reviewer seems to be under the impression that there is something
> > wrong with the computer speaking to the user in the first person.  For
> > example:
> > 
> >> [...]
> I suspect devref is a (possible) source of this impression.  As
> I recall, there are also some Lintian checks about using first person.

Well, devref is actually directly or indirectly written by the
reviewer cited by Ian, aka /me..:-)

So, don't take it too much as Word of Wisdom, here.

I'm personnally deeply and strongly convinced that the computer is not
a person and should not talk to users. I consider this is a kinda
"amateurish" style which I never meet in commercial, professionnal
(insert your favourite word here) software, documentation, etc. And I
personnally never use it. From what I witness in various texts, this
is shared by many.

And, if you look closely, or you dislike me taking "professional"
software as an example, just check the most common free software
environments and try finding uses of first person in them. You'll be
in trouble..:-) 

This is also something that is never used in writings such as
scientific publications ("we" is sometimes tolerated, mostly depending
in what kind of publication)..

So, in short, we (debian-l10n-english) try to suggest that such use
should be avoided. Still, this is of course enver enforced on
maintainers who are free to disagree and ignore this advice, of course
(Manoj is a very good example of someone who disagrees with me about

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