Re: Open Letter: How the FOSS Community May Help Disabled Users

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On Thu, Apr 27, 2006 16:38:13 PM -0500, Mike McCarty
([email protected]) wrote:

> I didn't feel the need to post anything except in response to your
> annoying message.

It's never too late to learn a minimum amount of good manners. Being
good at programming doesn't grant an exception. And FOSS would be much
more palatable to many users if this simple fact wasn't ignored.

Now, with respect to your specific critiques:

> I find you promoting your social agenda indecent.
>[...] 
> (A) This is not the proper forum for pursuing social agenda.

With all respect, "[only] my agenda" and "social" my foot. Others have
already answered pointing out how embarassingly narrow minded this
attitude is. Unless one lives in the jungle or his mind is trapped in
the 80's, this is something nobody can ignore anymore if Fedora or any
other FOSS is to be widely adopted. Especially in the public sector,
where it is *illegal* to ignore accessibility.

> (B) It is annoying to most handicapped people that non-handicapped
> people think they need to help them get organized or accomplish
> things.

This is not _my_ case. Please do read fully both my article and the
open letter. Sure, disabled users are certainly capable to organize
themselves and accomplish things without patrons. But what I am saying
are two different, yet related things:

1) to the best of my knowledge, many disabled users haven't realized
   yet that their fighting the adoption of open standards and FOSS (as
   they have done in Massachusetts so far) is wrong. And it's time
   they figure this out. How they *get* organized or accomplish things
   after that is a different issue, I agree.

2) If they care about not becoming irrelevant, many FOSS users and
   supporters *have* to figure out what is really at stake in this
   field and to get out of their hole and see how everybody else (not
   just disabled) looks at software. This is the main reason why I
   propose install festivals like in the open letter.

In a nutshell: accessibility cannot be ignored anymore by FOSS and, to
use your words, I think that the really handicapped ones, those who do
"need help them get organized or accomplish things" in this field are
FOSS advocates, not "disabled" users. The many reactions like yours,
from Slashdot to many other forums, keep proving I'm right.

As far as disabled users are concerned, I think they have nothing less
or different, in this context, than any non disabled person, only some
legal weapon to make others listen to complaints.

> (D) It's unnecessary to bring in political issues even on such a topic,

If you still believe politics can be ignored when FOSS and/or
disabilities are concerned, you have much more serious problems than
any phsical impairment, or any so-called "agenda" of mine...

> so why mention place names in the USA?
>
> How would you feel if I offered to start an agenda for FOSS developers
> to help support the Italians better?

If you actually can help *Italians* (better or more than you could
support any other group) to use FOSS more often and easily, of course
I'll be grateful and support you in any way I can.

Said this, I'd feel more confident that my previous evaluations of
your brain capabilities, at least when you posted this, are right. How
{dumb, relevant, polite} your last question is?

Is being disabled mutually exclusive to being Italian? Is being
Italian a disability? Have non-US citizens no right to speak about a
worldwide problem, only because it showed first in USA? Disability and
FOSS have no citizenship, and I made both USA and Italian "names" in my
article.

Ciao,
	Marco Fioretti

-- 
Marco Fioretti                    mfioretti, at the server mclink.it
Fedora Core 5 for low memory      http://www.rule-project.org/

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right
                                           Salvor Hardin , "Foundation"


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