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On 3 January 2011 15:14, Italo Vignoli <> wrote:

On 1/3/11 7:38 AM, Johannes A. Bodwing wrote:

 Where can I read it? Is it in the next decade manifesto?

 And they are not equal. That's my problem with it at the moment.
I don't really understand how this democratic-meritocratic principle
works. And what you explain below with Microsoft, for me it is not
meritocratic or democratic that's an ethical aspect.

Democracy means that everyone has the potential to contribute,

Democracy simply means representation of the people (community). Even
established democracies don't have referendums on every issue. Party
political systems mean that there are real limits to what any individual can
contribute. I can't go and contribute directly to new legislation other than
by saying what I think and hope it will influence someone. That is not
really much different from a FOSS project.

meritocracy means that contribution are judged by the community for their
value, continuity, quality, etcetera.

Which is what voters do at election time with the records and manifestos of
politicians in a democracy. Of course "meritocracy" often become a political
argument - even with software.

There are some principles though, and one of them is that contributions
have to be constructive (FOR) and not destructive (AGAINST).

Compare with "In the national interest"

Asking to avoid writing support for OOXML in order to bash Microsoft is

Not meaningless but perhaps political rather than rational - but hey life is
a peculiar mixture of rational and political perspectives.

Educating users about ethics related to Microsoft, OOXML and open standards
is not a task for export filters.

In general I think this polarisation of meritocracy/democracy in FOSS is a
myth. FOSS happens because there is freedom of speech which is an
important tenant in any democracy. In the end some people make decisions and
if they get them badly wrong enough often enough the "demos" votes with its
feet. That is exactly what happened with OOo and LO. So while on this issue
I'm in favour of writing OOXML after hearing the arguments, these
discussions are important even though someone is going to be disappointed.
Let's just accept that rather than muddying the waters with the democracy
meritocracy myths.

Italo Vignoli - The Document Foundation
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Skype: italovignoli - GTalk:

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