[GRASSLIST:7265] Re: Brazilian Forum for GRASS
Roger.Bivand at nhh.no
Tue Jun 21 16:20:04 EDT 2005
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005, Christian Ferreira wrote:
> Well, I think that Paulo is not very right saying:
> > > I feel people in Brasil are very scared by foreign languages, so as I
> > > am not, I could help a lot putting my knowledge of the language to
> > > help those who have difficulties understanding english.
> Many people (in Brazil) just don't have money to pay classes for study
> another language. It's a social problem, not just fear.
> I and some other translators here in Brazil just want to bring GRASS
> for this people, not create a parallel community and forget foreign
> people. Ok?
Sorry, part of this exchange left the list, now it's back. I'm not sure
that unwillingness to express opinions/views/needs in foreign languages is
just a social problem, although that is a big part of it. It is also about
being willing to take part, and some people just don't feel able, in their
native tongue or in a foreign one.
But there are many examples of very good observations being made by people
who are not happy to use English on a list like this. My concern was that
the larger GRASS community should be able to benefit from your valuable
initiative, and this depends on intermediators, who feel able to pass on
information both ways. I'm concerned that valuable user experience may
stay within local fora (not just this case, other user groups face the
I'm concerned because the open source movement crucially depends on
parallel debugging - if enough people are looking at the same problem at
the same time, and sharing their observations, it will be solved. Nobody
has a monopoly of knowledge, but enough observations of odd things
happening in different settings will lead to somebody realising - aha,
it's the assumption in line 573 of thatfile.c. Without lots of
intercommunicating users, this may not work so well. So, if you like, in
using open sourrce software, we have an unwritten obligation to make our
voices heard, up to and including contributing patches, documentation, and
opening discussion fora.
So, not doubts, just a reflection about critical mass. We've seen an
example today of how good this can be, contribution of internationalised
messages in an Indian language. GRASS, and particularly GRASS 6, needs
both users and contributors, and certainly, confidence in or access to
English as a medium is not the main issue. But I would argue that
communication of important information to the community at large does
matter, otherwise we may not notice that import of a particular format of
raster data, for example, systematically shifts by one cell, if there is
just one message in each language forum. Someone (who?) needs to watch
several, and pass on useful reports of problems. No more than that, but
vital for open source software.
> Also, my project (Poseidon Linux) website is holding a Forum to bring
> this "scared" people to GRASS, and not to Arcview like most people do
> here (using a pirated copy!!).
> I think that some of this people will naturally reach this mailing
> list as they interest for GRASS grows.
Economic Geography Section, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of
Economics and Business Administration, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen,
Norway. voice: +47 55 95 93 55; fax +47 55 95 95 43
e-mail: Roger.Bivand at nhh.no
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