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Re: [Ghm-discuss] FSFE’s contribution to the “Ho rizon 2020” EU research

From: Reuben Thomas
Subject: Re: [Ghm-discuss] FSFE’s contribution to the “Ho rizon 2020” EU research program
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 15:31:28 +0000

On 9 December 2011 15:06, Karsten Gerloff <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hi Reuben,
> sorry for taking so long to get back to you.
> On Fri, Dec 02, 2011 at 02:37:01PM +0100, Reuben Thomas wrote:
>>  I started off by making some comments and ended up with a full-scale edit.
>> I attach before and after text versions so you can see the differences.
> This does indeed read quite a bit nicer. Thanks a lot!
> However, the version on the website is the actual text we've sent to the
> EC. So I'd prefer to leave that version up as a record.

Then you've unfortunately wasted quite a bit of my time. Ludo's
message said: "FSFE has put together a paper intended for the
European Commission", from which I not unreasonably inferred that it
had not been sent and that you were seeking comment.

This is doubly unfortunate as the paper as sent is poorly written and
will probably be (have been?) read by non-native English speakers,
thus doubling the comprehension deficit. I'm sure papers from those
with different views will have been much better written and reviewed.

So not only has the FSFE made a poor submission, but it could have
been much better.

This whole situation seems to  exemplify the sort of poor intra-GNU
communication that goes on all the time.

The pointer to a web page is all very well, but I (and perhaps
others?) am unlikely to go reading a web page of documents that could
be improved. I tend to do work on documents that I have read for some
other reason (especially reference documentation), and to respond to
targeted requests for help. So if, for example, requests for help in
similar future situations were sent to gnu-prog-discuss, I might well
respond. (But asking me to subscribe to gnu-english-help won't work.)

I fear this message may read as rather self-centred, but I'm trying to
be realistic about my psychology, and how best to pique me into doing
volunteer work on things that are worthy but frankly a bit dull. I
wouldn't go looking for such work, but I might well take it on if I
found a request in my inbox at the right moment (for example, when I
got Ludo's message, I was in the middle of a tour, spending hours per
day sitting on buses or in hotels). I suspect I'm not alone, and it
seems you probably do need to reach out to non-self-selecting
volunteer labour.


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