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Re: Diversity statement for the Debian Project

Hi Ian,

On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 02:56:21PM +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Francesca Ciceri writes ("Diversity statement for the Debian Project"):
> ...
> > Although this list cannot be exhaustive, we explicitly honour diversity
> > in age, culture, ethnicity, genotype, gender identity or expression,
> > language, national origin, neurotype, phenotype, political beliefs,
> > profession, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status,
> > subculture and technical ability.
> What does "honouring diversity" actually mean ?
> If it means "we won't discriminate on grounds of <list>" then
> "technical ability" needs not to be there.  

I interpret it as "not only we won't discriminate on grounds of <list>
but we also will be richer if people from different <list> will join us".

> And while it might be nice
> in theory to try to be neutral as to language, in practice internal
> communications are primarily in English, and official or formal
> announcements and documents of any kind are expected to be in English.
> So perhaps you mean something weaker.
> One of the things that I would be opposed to is statements like that
> found in the Ubuntu Code of Conduct, which says, amongst other things,
>  |  Everyone can make a valuable contribution to Ubuntu.
> While I can see where the underlying sentiment is coming from, this
> statement is patently false.  I would prefer to avoid false
> platitudes.
> I think we should make it clear that our aim is that participation in
> the development of Debian should be equally open to all,
> discriminating only on the basis of people's ability and the quality
> of their contributions.

Makes sense, but it strongly depends on the meaning of "participation in
the developement of Debian".
IMO Debian became in the last years something more than an
operating system, and - as consequence - the "development of Debian"
does no longer mean only packaging (or other code-related activity).
Basically anyone can "make a valuable contribution to" Debian.
There's place for lots of different abilities, and several range of commitment.

For instance, organizing events, support users,
{reporting|triaging} bugs, helping booth staff at conferences,
translating, writing news, providing artworks, donating {money|hardware}
(and lots more I'm probably not aware of).

For some of these tasks there isn't even the language problem, as working
in local groups is made basically only in local languages.
The basic skills for all these tasks are probably just some free time, a pc, an
internet connection, politeness, will to contribute.
Speaking English and being able to learn things quickly, are obviously a plus ;).

With these premises, technical ability (intended, as I think you do but
please correct me if I'm wrong, as coding/packaging ability) is not
IMO a pre-requisite to contribute.


"Nostra patria è il mondo intero
e nostra legge è la libertà
ed un pensiero
ribelle in cor ci sta."		P.Gori

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