[Debtags-devel] Updating tags on svn

Thaddeus H. Black t at b-tk.org
Mon Aug 8 14:33:46 UTC 2005

Enrico wrote:

> Well, applet could be a useful search for someone wanting to decorate
> his desktop with blinkenlights.


> Honestly, client/server is there because it's useful and we had no idea
> where to put it.

Right.  Leave it there.

> > It's not the "bloat" that I worry about, exactly; I wouldn't object
> > to extra role:: tags that genuinely belonged under that facet.  But
> > category erosion is a problem, because it makes the system less of a
> > system...
> I totally agree with you.

We can throw an agreement party, then, all together.

> I do see a reason to put the input-methods under accessibility, though.

Disagree.  (Well, so much for the party.)

> It's also an opportunity to take 'accessibility' out of the 'stuff for
> disabled people' ghetto, ...

Respectfully, no.  Accessibility is a tag, not a ghetto.  Non-disabled
people do not need accessibility packages; they need to be able to
filter them out.  This need cuts more or less orthogonally across the
need to filter input-method packages out.  There are many non-disabled
Chinese.  Consider libatk and scim, for example.  What do these packages
and their users have in common?  Not much.

> ... even if there is a risk to instead bring
> non-latin-language people into the 'stuff for weird people' ghetto.

Your instinct serves you well.  This is indeed the risk.  My view is
that we should not run it.

We need to be wary in general of relabelling unpleasant things.  Good
taste is important, but the proof of a label is normally in its
usefulness, not in its pleasantness.  Blindness, deafness and lameness
are all very unpleasant, but the free software community has chosen the
useful word "accessibility" to refer to these unpleasant things in a
dignified way.  It is not for us to try to think of yet another word we
think is more dignified.  Nor would we serve disabled users well by
lumping the accessibility software they need with Chinese input methods.

On the other hand, although non-latin-language is neither weird nor
unpleasant, I feel strongly that the Latin scripts do have a very
special role in Debian.  We would not serve our users well to erase this
distinction.  Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Arabs, Russians and virtually
all other peoples use the Roman alphabet as an alternative script.  They
cannot read one another's scripts, but they can all spell their own
names and words out in the Roman.  Frequently---as you know from your
visit to Taiwan---those people even use keyboards with the Roman printed
on them!  Your country has given this alphabet to the world, Enrico.  It
is not some regional peculiarity, just because it is peculiarly yours;
it is the one and only global script, and debtags should treat it as
such.  Pre-Unicode, in the days when those peoples made up their own
local encodings, they each saw fit to treat the Roman specially.  We
should not doubt them.  They did right.  Where relevant, we should
follow their example.

One supposes that you had plenty to read already, so I recommend no
further reading.  However, the script topic is one which I personally
feel strongly about and which I have followed closely; so, for
bibliography's sake, the relevant debian-devel discussions on the topic
begin at [1], [2], [3] and [4].

Thaddeus H. Black
508 Nellie's Cave Road
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060, USA
+1 540 961 0920, t at b-tk.org, thb at debian.org

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/12/msg00521.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2005/02/msg01320.html
[3] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2005/03/msg00086.html
[4] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2005/06/msg00627.html
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