[arch-general] Country Name (ISO-3116) Issues

Allan McRae allan at archlinux.org
Sun Jul 1 18:29:45 EDT 2012

On 02/07/12 05:49, Loui Chang wrote:
> On Sun 01 Jul 2012 21:23 +0200, Tom Gundersen wrote:
>> On Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 7:28 PM, Loui Chang <louipc.ist at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Sun 01 Jul 2012 23:08 +0800, Zero, Chien-An Cho wrote:
>>>> Hello,
>>>> First of all, I am sorry to bring political issues to here. I have
>>>> been using ArchLinux for years, deployed on many servers, though I'm
>>>> not joining the community until now. The recent changes to the
>>>> ArchLinux webpages (ex. Downloads, Mirror Status) is really offending
>>>> Taiwanese people. I would like to bring up this issue, and preferably
>>>> to resolve this issue.
>>>> I have posted this message on the forum:
>>>> https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=144315 . The moderator
>>>> suggested me to post on arch-general, so here it is. :)
>>>> There is also a bug tracking issue submitted by other Taiwanese user
>>>> that I'm requesting for reopen here:
>>>> https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/30444
>>>> The following text is the same as the post on forum, except a few
>>>> modification to make text smoother.
>>>> The recent changes on the download page named Taiwan as Taiwan,
>>>> Province of China, which is not reflecting the truth that Taiwan is a
>>>> independent country which having its own government. I think this
>>>> might be caused by following the ISO-3166 country name list standard.
>>>> However, I don't think ISO-3166 is a good list when it comes to the
>>>> country name.
>>>> Many open source communities have encountered this problem before.
>>>> Most of them understand that ISO-3166 is not really a neutral list
>>>> that we all hope for, and thus made switch to a separate maintained
>>>> country list. For example, FreeBSD[1], Rails[2], Debian[3]. Many big
>>>> commercial entities also opt not to use "Taiwan, PRC" in their country
>>>> list, like: Apple[4], IBM[5], also try Google, Facebook, Twitter, et
>>>> cetra. A possible solution might be using the country name list from
>>>> ICU[6].
>>>> I believed the ArchLinux is trying to expand its user-base around the
>>>> world, so a neutral country name list would be the best for the
>>>> benefit of all of us, ArchLinux developers and users. As a Taiwanese
>>>> ArchLinux user, I'm really happy to see that user base of ArchLinux is
>>>> growing in Taiwan. Some educational institutions provide mirrors site
>>>> in Taiwan, Wiki localized in Traditional Chinese in the recent years.
>>>> I sincerely hope this issue can be resolved as soon as possible. Let's
>>>> keep the issue simple and not flaming it, thanks.
>>>> References:
>>>> [1] FreeBSD: http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=138672
>>>> [2] Rails: http://www.koziarski.net/archives/2008/9/24/countries-and-controversies/
>>>> [3] Debian: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/04/msg00798.html
>>>> [4] Apple: http://www.apple.com/choose-your-country/
>>>> [5] IBM: http://www.ibm.com/planetwide/select/selector.html
>>>> [6] ICU: http://source.icu-project.org/repos/icu/icu/trunk/source/data/region/en.txt
>>> I agree. I'm very disappointed by the response of Dave Reisner on that
>>> bug report. The reality is that the PRC does not have jurisdiction or
>>> claim over Taiwan. When standards are false they should not be followed.
>>> Dave: Can you educate yourself a little about the Republic of China and
>>> Taiwan vs the People's Republic of China, before making a final
>>> decision? Thank you.
>> This has been discussed a number of times. While no one has so far
>> questioned the validity of the bug, the consensus seems to be that
>> this should be taken upstream [0].
>> I hope it is clear that no offense is intended, and that we do not
>> want to make any political judgments (and hence defer to the UN).
>> [0]: <http://www.iso.org/iso/updates_on_iso_3166.html>.
> Gimme a break. These kind of political issues aren't solved by "taking
> it upstream". Since when are politicians or people under the influence
> of politics known for their outstanding adherence to logic and reason?
> It's not such a simple technical thing that you can "take it upstream."
> If you have any idea how the ISO works you will wake up to the fact of
> how ridiculous that suggestion is. If Taiwan (ROC) can't get it to
> happen, what do you expect of us?
> But as has been suggested maybe Arch should choose a different upstream
> for this kind of information. Please open your mind a little, a false
> standard is no standard at all.

Well...  this discussion will go nowhere...  And I should point out that
most developers are now not subscribed from this list because of its low
signal-to-noise ratio so this thread will likely not get to the right

The solution is to find us a different upstream that has any sort of
standards backing. This is just like Arch's policy with software.  We do
not patch because a feature is not the way we like it.


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