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Re: redisplay system of emacs

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: redisplay system of emacs
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 13:26:51 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Hi, Paul,

On Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 01:11:57PM +0100, Paul R wrote:
> Richard,

> > The term "ecosystem" is best avoided because it supposes an amoral
> > stance. See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html for the
> > explanation.

> I don't think the word ecosystem "(...) implies the absence of intention
> and ethics", as stated in this page.

Are you a native English speaker?  "Ecosystem" is a system of ecology,
which is the study of how organisms react with eachother and their
shared environment.  Implicit in ecology is its participants'
obliviousness to ecology.

> It does not imply the presence of them either. I think they are
> independant concepts, and that a free software ecosystem is an
> acceptable metaphor, because it shows that there is interdependency
> (in fact free software licence favours this interdependency).

There are other words which also imply interdependency yet which are
less laden with loaded meanings.  "Ecosystem" implies its participants
(hackers etc.) are on the level of bugs, beetles and bacteria.  It
denigrates hackers, suggesting they are simply swept along helplessly by
outrageous fortune, rather than being the agents of it.  Some of these
other words would be better, much better, such as ....

> Can you suggest an alternative word that expresses this simple, yet
> fundamental, concept ?

A "community" for example, which expresses all the tenets of
interdependency and tension.  If you want to emphasise the ideas of
competition between bits of free software (say, between perl, python and
ruby), the best word is perhaps "market", or "marketplace of ideas".

> -- 
>   Paul

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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