Re: [gnome-cy] ACCAC: open-sourcing Y Termiadur

Kevin Donnelly wrote:

Hi Dewi

On Dydd Sadwrn 12 Gorfennaf 2003 9:06 yp, Dewi Jones wrote:

Rather than do a point-by-pointer, I'm just going to set out a few general responses:

(1) Sorry if I've said anything that offended you or your colleagues in CB - I was referring to ACCAC, actually, and you seem to have taken it as referring specifically to CB, which was not my intent at all. CB is doing lots of helpful things, and the translation of OOo is a major achievement - no-one would belittle that. (2) The nub of the matter, though, is whether public funding should be given to any knowledge-based project whose deliverable is not in the public domain. The EU is, I believe, (slowly) moving generally towards the policy position that the answer should be "no", and I myself don't see why this should not also apply to projects that have been done in the past (in this particular instance, ACCAC's Termiadur).

(3) A corollary to this is that any organisation winning a tender should view itself as being paid to produce a public resource, not to create a bankable item that may potentially earn revenue into the future. This is not the case with such things as roads and schools (pace the recent PFI initiative, which is specifically aimed at reducing the public funding of these items, and its variable record) - why should software or knowledge resources be any different? The parallel with the free software arguments about the creation and support of software is in fact striking.

(4) There is an ongoing tension, which will have to be addressed by someone at some point, between constricted availability of Welsh language materials paid for from public taxation of both English- and Welsh-speakers in Wales, and the wider benefits to Welsh of having those materials freely available. In the digital age, I fail to see why Welsh needs a "gatekeeper" to say when or where I should access publicly-funded language information (via that gatekeeper's publications, website, or anything else). If there is an issue with the resultant cost of access, this is just another argument for making the material completely free - others may provide such access at no public cost, as recent history has shown.

(5) On a point of fact, the original KGyfieithu dictionary link was to the address you mentioned in your email to me of 24 January (Re: [E-GYMRAEG] Partneriaeth Bysellfwrddd Gymraeg / Welsh Keyboard Partnership), which was The BBC issue only came up in March, when you asked me to remove that link (which, as you'll remember, I complied with immediately).

(6) On the XP point, CB's argument would presumably be that getting Welsh on the desktop was so important that it was willing to subsidise the production of this resource for a wealthy foreign multinational monopoly. I have issues with that, but I can see that such an argument can be made. But what I find difficult to accept is the simultaneous suggestion that provision of the same thing for free software must pay its own way and *not* be subsidised. I don't see how both things can be legitimately argued at the same time unless there is in fact a subtext that a particular legacy operating system is the only thing worth bothering about.

(7) It is valid, IMHO, to ask for license fees to use any resource such as the OED or GYA if it was produced by academics employed directly by a University. However, if the work or its workers were the recipient of specific public funding (for salaries, publication, whatever), then the same issue arises as regards Termiadur. In that case, I believe the public has paid once, and should not be asked to pay again to view its own property. I don't know what the funding position was for the GYA - if it was the former, then certainly the WAG should pay whatever fees are necessary to make similar provision as it is making for English. If it was the latter, though, my response is above. (If anyone can shed light on the funding position, I'd be grateful, because the Termiadur issue may be part of a wider public policy case that could be made.) (8) Finally, for what it's worth, I have no objection to buying the Termiadur CD at all. But there are no doubt copyright conditions attached to it as well. In the last resort, this is the "shared source" argument in a different context.

I want to underline again that my points are NOT directed at CB, but at a wider public policy arena, where the main players are large public bodies like ACCAC, and where accountability is sometimes tenuous. But the issues in 2, 3 and 4 above are, I believe, valid ones, and need to be pursued in some form. It seems bizarre, does it not, that the publicly-funded copyright-holding body directs me to a site owned by the resource-holding supplier body to which I am not allowed to link? Plainly, one end of the string is not tied to anything.

Best wishes


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As Dewi says in his original response Canolfan Bedwyr has assisted in the production of OpenOffice but the final product will mainly be as a result of a voluntary effort by Dewi and David Chan on the technical side and the translation by my self. (That's why I've been so quiet!) Canolfan Bedwyr as such have not translated or produced the product.

Canolfan Bedwyr have developed the spellchecher for OpenOffice and have worked with Sun on various aspects of the localisation for OpenOffice and StarOffice. A number of local authorities locally are interested in StarOffice...

By the way, has anyone attempted to use Y Termiadur (or Cysill and Cysgair) in Wine...?


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