Ciarán O'Riordan ciaran at
Tue May 3 01:26:01 CEST 2011

The decision is for you to take collectively, but I can explain the
background of this list.

I asked for fsfe-bnl@ to be created and suggested that the default language
be English.  I first discussed language with lots and lots of people in
Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg and nobody objected to English.

The other option was to have four lists: nl-nl, be-nl, be-fr, lu-*.  The
main problem with that approach is that small lists tend to go silent after
a year or two.  Other problems are that German speakers are ignored,
Luxembourg's language situation is ignored, and issues at the national level
in Belgium would suffer from lack of coordination.

So a big, English-speaking list seemed like the best idea.

...but if you want an example of a different policy which has proved
successful, the ubuntu-be list's policy is that everyone posts in whatever
language they like, be it Dutch, French, English, and maybe German.

There is also a European-level French-speaking FSFE list:

In a simple world, FSFE's lists would be divided by *either* geography or
language, but this isn't a simple world, this is Europe :-)

Languages are complicated, and lots of fun, so the discutons@ list was made
for the French speakers of Belgium, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and
elsewhere.  Again, it's better to unify people to form a big list.

(I speak English, Dutch, and French, so all language policies are OK for

Ciarán O'Riordan, +32 487 64 17 54,

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