Mageia Language Bug

Recently I installed Mageia.  It had a good reputation and I had decided to use it as one of my favoured operating systems in a multi-boot.

However, the Menus in American English were a turn-off, and when I submitted a bug report about this, the bug I reported was dismissed as trivial.

So I no longer use Mageia but I hope to try it again at a future date, after the Mageia maintainers leave their mindset of 1998 and rejoin us in 2012/2013 with the knowledge that desk-top users feel more comfortable using their own language.

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Favorites? Center? Colors? Not on your nelly, chum.  I’m British.

So the Chinese try to make Tibetans use the Chinese language.
So Mageia tries to make Brits use American English in its Menus.
Take over the language and you achieve more political control.
Well, I say, “Thanks but no thanks.”

(1) The problem:

When installing Mageia a user will select British English as the default language and then find the Menu with American spelling.  The natural action to take is to submit a bug report. However, Mageia refuses to acknowledge that the selection “British English” requires British English in the Menu too and the Magei developers’ language section refuses to correct spelling errors.  In fact, it looks likely that the language section actively wishes to keep American English in the UK users’ Menus, in UK users’ homes.

(2)  The situation at home:

Besides producing many great Olympic athletes, Britain has always been one of the leaders in the computing technology and will continue to be so.

Charles Babbage born 1791 in London is credited with being the inventor of the computer.  His assistant Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron (after whom the US Department of Defense named the programming language Ada) is acknowledged to be the first person to write computer code.  Tim Berners Lee started the World Wide Web.  A British company thought up the Raspberry Pi.

We have a breadth of talent in this country, and a computing history and language of which to be proud.

Why should we use the dialect of another country in our own homes when we have already selected British English?

Menus in American English in personal systems in the UK and Europe is a step too far.

Already, partly due to Microsoft, some young British people are struggling with writing their own language. Operating systems like Mageia make it more difficult for young people to find jobs in administration and business. If you write the word “Center” in a job application for office work, or “Colors” when you apply to a design company, because you learnt the spelling from your operating system, then you deserve to remain unemployed.

Operating system language is part of the education and training of our youth.

(3)  The solution:

Brits and Mageia users, please be proud of your language and keep it safe.  It was a gift to you when you were born.

Whether you live in Haringey or Hereford, whether you’re a Brummie or a Lancastrian, whether you live in Giggleswick or Waltham Green, in town or in the sticks, please stand up for your language.

Do not use Mageia or any other system which does not respect your wish to use your own language.  Permitting such disrespect lays a shadow across your life.  American English is right for the USA and other countries which use it or a variation of it, such as the Philippines.  British English is for the UK and is the popular second language of choice in the European Union.

Linux Mint, SolusOS, Debian and many other Linux operating systems have their Menus for UK users in standard British English. That is a simple enough action to take.  It is polite and user friendly to do so.

As Mageia refuses to change its language policy, and even refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem, please use one of these distros instead.  They are all great systems, quick to correct errors and get rid of bugs.  Mint in particular is known for its friendly Forums.

When the old guard at Mageia retire or move on, and the policy changes to reflect the languages of its users, then you can return and support the good Mageia once again.  Once this bug is out of its soul, it will be a distro worthy of that support.

The smiling distros are always the best.

Perhaps Mageia will have a change of heart and even update its policies before the end of this summer 2012 and bring a smile to the faces of its UK users?

There is more to computing than using LibreOffice, running databases and playing games. Computing is also about Respect and Choice.

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Use British English in UK homes. Go For Gold. 🙂

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19 July 2012

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Postscript 1

Thank you, Claire and Trish, members of the Mageia team, for replying to this post.

A  discussion has now begun about the language in the Menu, it appears. Rémi Verschelde has suggested a script, which seems the logical way forward. Merci, Monsieur Rémi. C’est là le point.

Your input is needed just as this post (in all its harshness) was necessary in the first place, for otherwise no discussion would have started and the Americanisation of my language would have continued being pumped from numerous sources including Mageia.

Coming out of Mandrake, Mageia’s development includes the French experience and the UK and France have always had close ties: the language that I am here trying to defend is full of French roots and cultural tones. Mageia has maintainers and developers from many European countries and in the EU, because of trade and historical ties, it would be fitting if the language used was en_GB.  (A French man or lady would not expect the Mageia Menu to be in cajun French or Louisiana creole if he or she set set French as the default language, would they?).

My time is stretched already and I have not got your expertise such as knowledge of perl and other specific skills needed for code proofreading but thank you for your kind offers to participate in the maintenance of Mageia. You are good communicators and it would have been a pleasure to work with you .

Please still remember that you are British.

Use British English in UK homes   🙂

Best wishes to you both.

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25 July 2012

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2 Responses to “Mageia Language Bug”

  1. Claire Robinson Says:

    As a fellow Brit and Mageia contributor I think you’re being rather harsh in your criticism here.

    There is no policy to prefer American English or even any idea to force our en_GB users to use en_US. You are mistaken.

    Mageia is a community, a young community at that. It is not created or maintained by a company and has no big business backing. Mageia is not a product. It is an outcome. The outcome of the effort of the community.

    It is people. People make it happen in their spare time. People from all over the world where different dialects of English are taught. People who have taught themselves English and use it as a tool to break down barriers and volunteer their time to work on something they use and love.

    I understand your point but you have to realise that, with the limited resources of the community, in comparison to some of the major changes being made at the moment in the development branch the dialect of English used in a menu is low down on the priority scale.

    I don’t mean to trivialise the issue. I’m sure nobody at Mageia would wish to trivialise it. The fact is though that we still need more people. Many of the teams are still short of contributors, so those we have are quite overloaded and we have to prioritise.

    Many people are not used to Linux being a community project these days. Many distributions now are a product of a business or use the repository of one and add their own flavour of tools or desktop design. Mageia is one of a decreasing number of fully community made distributions. We have our own repositories, build all our own packages and although we have some familiar tools we develop them in our own direction.

    As with all communities, the best way to make any improvement is to involve yourself and help to make it. Have you thought of volunteering some time and becoming a contributor? It is very rewarding knowing that you have helped to make something which is increasingly being used all around the globe.

    I would encourage anybody to do so. There are all sorts of teams and they all need contributors who can volunteer some time and help to make Mageia. It is not just techies, there are artists, writers, testers, translators and a whole variety of things for people of all backgrounds, ages, abilities and languages to involve themselves in. It is not just Mageia itself either, there is a growing wiki which has started to be translated into other languages as people find the time. There is help being written for the tools we already have. There is never any shortage of work to be done.

    Personally, after hearing of this, I volunteered to assist in any localisation which still needs completing for en_GB. My time and attention is already quite thoroughly taken up elsewhere though. I would whole heartedly recommend to you to get involved and help to do what needs to be done. You will find there is nobody who wants to stand in the way of improvement if there is manpower to make it happen.

    Anybody wishing to join the community will find a warm welcome awaits. There are details on the website how to do so, so I will not put a link here.

    I hope to see you there, this is obviously something you feel quite strongly about so your contribution would be very beneficial and most welcome.


  2. Trish Fraser Says:

    How about becoming a contributor?

    Any and all Mageia features are provided by community members, making the distribution on their own time; this is GNU/Linux, not Windows.

    We do hope that people will like what we do. We hope, even more, that people who see a need will join the community – it’s a very good community! – and help to fill in the gaps.

    So, if you’d like en_GB in all your desktop, how about joining us and making it happen?

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