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GNU virtual private Ethernet
Based on the lingua franca of the mailing lists, I would assume the answer is: yes
If this is the case, would that not be one barrier?
VIA releases open source Xorg driver
Posted Aug 29, 2008 21:55 UTC (Fri) by bmur (guest, #52954)
Posted Aug 29, 2008 22:35 UTC (Fri) by JoeBuck (subscriber, #2330)
Over the years I've seen a lot of code where the comments, variable names, etc. are chosen from some other language.
Posted Aug 30, 2008 11:38 UTC (Sat) by tzafrir (subscriber, #11501)
Posted Aug 30, 2008 15:02 UTC (Sat) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946)
Posted Aug 30, 2008 19:19 UTC (Sat) by salimma (subscriber, #34460)
Posted Aug 31, 2008 2:47 UTC (Sun) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946)
Posted Sep 1, 2008 8:05 UTC (Mon) by dgm (subscriber, #49227)
Regarding English, the distance from being able to read to being able to express yourself is considerable. I haven't been to Taiwan, but in mainland China the percentage of people that can read English is very small.
Posted Aug 31, 2008 20:25 UTC (Sun) by xtifr (subscriber, #143)
And, of course, without a knowledge of English, the fact that "stdio" might be short for "standard input/output" will be completely lost on you. (Even with English, this might not be obvious at first.)
Ironically, because the default locale is 8-bit ascii, you'll need to know <em>more</em> English words to write a program that works in another language than you would to write one that works in English. At a minimum, you'll need to learn "locale" and "set". Neither of which, again, are keywords or even parts of keywords. :)
This isn't to say that you <em>can't</em> learn to program in C with only a bare minimum knowledge of English--we've both seen it done. But the bar is still higher than you suggest--"a few keywords" is far from sufficient.
Posted Sep 1, 2008 14:45 UTC (Mon) by proski (subscriber, #104)
Posted Sep 4, 2008 5:55 UTC (Thu) by ncm (subscriber, #165)
Posted Sep 4, 2008 8:39 UTC (Thu) by ekj (subscriber, #1524)
You may need to understand what printf, strstr, mutex, heap, CreateNode, while, string, for and a lot of stuff like that means.
But the fact that these are origined in english is almost completely unimportant, a non-programming english-native would not be able to tell what a "heap" or a "mutex" is in this context any better than a non-programming Indian or Norwegian or whatever.
When he -does- learn programming, he also learns the spesific meaning of the most common words, he learns more when he uses libraries etc. But here's the thing; this spesific meaning is so specialised that knowledge of what the word means in everyday english is almost completely irrelevant.
It's -not- much easier to learn what a "heap" is in programming-context if you're a native english-speaker than it is if you know no english at all.
Try asking your grandmother (assuming she is english native, and does no programming) what a "string" or a "heap" is. You'll get an answer, but not one that would help much in understanding a C-program.
Posted Sep 4, 2008 9:29 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Sep 5, 2008 12:14 UTC (Fri) by ekj (subscriber, #1524)
German, Norwegian, French, Italian and Spanish all have a few extra letters and/or apostrophes or whatever. Nevertheless it's simple to use norwegian (or german, or italian) names for variables, functions and components.
Even if you -do- decide to use english names, that's STILL not equivalent to needing to know the language. You don't need hearing-comprehension (harder than reading-comprehension for many) you don't need grammar. You don't need pronounciation. You don't need comma-rules, capitalization-rules etc etc etc.
Learning a few nouns and a few verbs isn't more than a small part of learning a language.
Knowing english is helpful. It's in no way required.
Posted Aug 29, 2008 21:59 UTC (Fri) by mstefani (subscriber, #31644)
Posted Aug 29, 2008 22:08 UTC (Fri) by wblew (subscriber, #39088)
Posted Aug 29, 2008 22:37 UTC (Fri) by JoeBuck (subscriber, #2330)
Posted Aug 30, 2008 5:51 UTC (Sat) by nhippi (subscriber, #34640)
As another anecdote, I was planning to buy a Linux-based STB (dbox2), and turned out the community spoke and documented everything only in german. Eventually I managed to decipher enough from the forums that dbox2 was missing a feature I needed, but it was quite enlightening experience.
With the for example recent translation of kernel docs to Chinese, I presume the trend is only going to continue, creating more and more code and documentation that is not available in english (unless someone translates it first).
Posted Aug 30, 2008 6:47 UTC (Sat) by laf0rge (subscriber, #6469)
so please don't compare the spanish/english situation to a chinese/english situation.
much more difficult is the culture. European or in general 'western' culture is fundemantally different in so many ways. And you cannot really understand a different language without understanding a bit of the culture, too.
I'm not just referring to actual 'culture of the people' but also corporate and industry culture.
Chinese <> English/Western culture differences
Posted Aug 30, 2008 13:51 UTC (Sat) by Duncan (guest, #6647)
Consider just one thing by itself, how characters translate into words
and what assumptions one makes about the world based on that from a very
early age, as they learn to read, etc. I can't help but think that were
I to read/write a language where a character was a word and a word was a
character, I'd likely have a very different viewpoint on the world and
how it worked and what made it tick, based on that alone. Not wrong,
just very very different. Certainly, logic is logic, but one's
assumptions and axioms would surely be very different if one were used to
thinking of individual characters as having the meaning of words, and
perhaps extending that to one's assumptions of how the world in general
So yes, I can certainly see how culture and world-view would
be /entirely/ different, and that it could and would seriously affect
one's ability to participate in the to this point mostly western FLOSS
community across a cultural gap of that degree.
Hiring Harald Welte as a liaison will certainly benefit both Via and the
FLOSS community as each side learns to work better with the other,
without causing or taking unnecessary offense, while learning to see
things from the vantage point of an entirely different world-view.
That said, as a purely practical matter, until they started making this
very serious effort, I certainly didn't feel obligated to buy Via, any
more than I felt obligated to buy MSI when I visited their site
researching mobos, and found everything, from the docs to the BIOS flash
packages, in MS executable, probably self-extracting-executable-zip,
format. (Yes, I /did/ write them an email, telling them exactly why they
were getting crossed off my list in terms of further consideration.) Via
could do its thing and I could do mine, and if they didn't make it easy
to do mine, well, there were other products to buy. Simple as that.
But I'm glad that's changing as it's nice to have choices! =:^)
Posted Aug 30, 2008 21:11 UTC (Sat) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167)
When importing words from other languages to Chinese a phonetic transliteration is often used, where the characters are chosen based on how they sound, rather than what they mean. The beverage "Coca-cola" is represented 可口可乐. Visually this could also be a short phrase, but no literate Chinese person would make that mistake.
[Grr, LWN previews seem to be broken for Unicode input, the above is U+53EF U+53E3 U+53EF U+4E50]
* And the logograms are themselves often made up of several components, which were originally, thousands of years ago, pictures directly representing ideas or objects.
Documentation as (self-extracting) .exe files?
Posted Aug 31, 2008 1:58 UTC (Sun) by vonbrand (subscriber, #4458)
I've come across a few of those, and just out of boredom once I tried unzip(1) on them... and it unpacked the contents fine.
Posted Aug 31, 2008 7:51 UTC (Sun) by quotemstr (subscriber, #45331)
Posted Aug 31, 2008 11:40 UTC (Sun) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
(Of course, if I actually cared about this I suppose I could always learn
Cyrillic, but I'm English so it's traditional that I be monoglottal
Posted Aug 31, 2008 15:10 UTC (Sun) by tzafrir (subscriber, #11501)
Posted Aug 31, 2008 19:17 UTC (Sun) by eru (subscriber, #2753)
Test case for your statement: Turkish. Written in a Latin script. Language is completely different from anything European.
From anything? Actually Finnish (my native language), Sami, Estonian, Hungarian, Basque, and probably some others I forgot are also European languages (i.e. they are natively spoken in Europe), but as different from the Indo-European languages as Turkish is.
Posted Sep 1, 2008 0:51 UTC (Mon) by quotemstr (subscriber, #45331)
Posted Sep 1, 2008 12:24 UTC (Mon) by liljencrantz (guest, #28458)
Posted Aug 31, 2008 15:02 UTC (Sun) by nhippi (subscriber, #34640)
That was most certainly not my intention. I was just sharing my thoughts (as answer to the original poster), that it seems possible (but certainly no easy) these days to participate in FLOSS community without knowing English.
Posted Sep 1, 2008 15:44 UTC (Mon) by hmh (subscriber, #3838)
But there is little we can do about it. Localized development efforts (i.e. those that are not ready to work internationally) in FOSS usually either die quickly, or cannot be reached at all by non-locals.
If you do any sort of FOSS development, you HAVE to be able to communicate in english if you want your project to succeed (or to work with the vast majority of the FOSS communities and projects out there), and that's the beginning and end of it.
For users, things are less strict, but the moment you want to become an advanced user and that starts requiring access to in-depth documentation and other advanced users, chances are you will need to be able to communicate in english for most projects/applications.
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