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Re: Debian New Maintainer Guide 0.1

On Sat, Nov 14, 1998 at 09:19:59PM -0600, Lyno Sullivan wrote:
> I would like to publicly apologize to Josip and then move on.  I
> reviewed his article and recommended that he change "guy" to
> "person".

I cannot speak for Josip, but in general, comments are always
appreciated within Debian.  We may not agree with you but we do
respect your opinion and the fact that you took the time to voice your

> I merely wanted to mention that women who read Debian documents
> might be upset by being refered to as "guy".

Yes.  The suggestion to change from guy to person is a valid one IMHO.
Using person does even give the text a more polished look, as "guy" is
(one Dveloper's name but also) much more informal, which can be
upsetting to men, too.  Not all men like being called guys...

However, in general, I do not think that supposed sexism is a good
reason for changing wording (unless the issue is inflammatory, of
course): otherwise we'd be moving into an endless loop, replacing word
after word until we are back at the beginning.

> I was also disrespectful towards people for whom English is a second
> language.

(From one perspective English is the third language for me, however,
my most developed foreign language skills are in English.)

No, you weren't, and I'm speaking as a non-native English writer here.

> I know that most of Debian work is done by men but I believe this will
> change over the next few years.

I'd like to see that happen, yes.

> If women who visit Debian find their issues respected

I'd like to point out that there are women that do not like to be
treated specially (and in a male-dominated group these pepople hate
being the sole reason for doing a sed 's/man/person/g' to all the
docs).  These women are offended by a suggestion that non-sexist
terminology is their issue.  I know one personally, and I usenet-know
several others.

My point is that you never can satisfy everybody, and we should never
assume we could.  (Though satisfying as many as possible is a worthy
goal... :-)

> Social Contract already speaks very clearly on the issue of
> non-discrimination

I thought that actions discriminate, not words.

> I wanted to provide something constructive and that was the best I
> could do.  I would like to thank everyone for their patience and
> their kind replies.

Thanks for your feedback.  It's good to get it.  In fact, the only way
one can offend Debian is by not giving feedback when one can :)

> Josip, I am sorry for having pointed out the matter in a public forum.

Again, I cannot speak for Josip, but if I were in Josip's position,
I'd say that it isn't a problem.

> Copyright(c) 1998 Lyno Sullivan; this work is free and may be
> copied, modified and distributed under the GNU Library General
> Public License (LGPL) <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lgpl.html> and
> it comes with absolutely NO WARRANTY;  mailto:lls@freedomain.org

Good thing, that :-)

	quite tired now, so please ignore
	the possible hard tone (I cannot
	check such subtleties half asleep:)
Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho A7 <gaia@iki.fi> ** <URL:http://www.iki.fi/gaia/> **

                       The FAQ is your friend.
                            Trust the FAQ.

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