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From Julian Hyde <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] China Contribution. (was: RocketMQ Incubation Proposal)
Date Fri, 11 Nov 2016 08:31:31 GMT
I like the way that Reynold is coming at this.

I am aware of the rule mandating English for discussions. But in the interests of having no
more rules than are strictly necessary, is it not sufficient to tell PMCs (and PPMCs): "Do
whatever you believe will engage the largest possible community."

Most PMCs will choose English. Some won’t. Times they are a changing.


> On Nov 10, 2016, at 11:42 PM, Reynold Xin <> wrote:
> Background: I have no tie to RocketMQ. I didn't even know about it until
> today and I don't know any of the people associated with the project. I am
> Chinese but living in the US. I'm purely playing devil's advocate about a
> meta-point here and don't know if it applies to RocketMQ or not.
> I definitely agree with Jeff's point that "my thoughts about community
> would be getting as many people and users involved as possible".
> That said, for a project started in China, it is unclear switching the
> primary development language from Chinese to English would help with
> accomplishing that goal. While lowering the bar for non-Chinese speakers to
> participate, it will limit the efficacy of its original developers, and
> increases the bar for more Chinese developers, which are the more natural,
> immediate expansion targets for the community.
> If we as a community want to enforce the usage of English as the standard,
> we should just explicitly say that.
> I'd avoid using the argument that English will bring more users, as it is
> not defensible and risk being interpreted as western arrogance. Afterall,
> three out of the six largest Internet companies (by market cap) are
> currently in mainland China, and they all have enormous daily active users
> even though they are targeting primarily Chinese.
> On Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 11:14 PM, Jeff Genender <>
> wrote:
>> I would think that English is generally used because its the most
>> international language, not because its the most used in the world.  Thus
>> it helps cross borders for communication.  At the end of the day, I think
>> you need to look at your community and ask if you want it to cross borders
>> or not.  Do you want worldwide contribution (and adoption)?  I can tell you
>> that I glean a lot of information from the mail lists when I run into
>> problems or issues using Apache software.  If the discussions are in
>> Chinese, you may miss a lot of people who can be a part of the discussion
>> from outside of China.  I think you really need to think about who you want
>> your users to be and how you want your product adopted.
>> In addition, this is an incubated project.  AFAICT, the champion doesn’t
>> speak Chinese, and I am wild-guessing maybe 2 of the mentors do.  This
>> means the other mentors may have a difficult time steering the project when
>> they are needed.  It makes it difficult for the champion to asses any
>> problems without having someone notify him of a translated issue.  In the
>> unlikely event that the project requires input from the incubation PMC or,
>> the board for that matter, it would be very difficult to get a proper
>> insight into the issues without have solid knowledge of the language.
>> I personally don’t know of any rule or regulation that locks down a
>> language and perhaps a board member can chime in on that.  But my .02 is
>> that if I were bringing a project to Apache, my thoughts about community
>> would be getting as many people and users involved as possible.  If you
>> don’t use a more cross-border/international language, then I believe that
>> you may ultimately be hindering your project beyond your borders.  I think
>> that would be a shame.  OTOH, maybe your desire is to keep RocketMQ a
>> Chinese piece of software.  I guess that is ok too… but I would be
>> interested in why.
>> Just my usual .02.
>> Jeff
>>> On Nov 10, 2016, at 11:53 PM, Tom Barber <> wrote:
>>> I believe I saw something the other day where someone was talking about
>> diverse languages on mailing lists. personally I think it's okay but
>> obviously it decreases the chance of participation of others.
>>> of course the old saying "if it wasn't discussed on the list it never
>> happened" didn't mention the language.
>>> Thought must be taken for jira and code comments as well. how would non
>> Chinese speaking people follow development?
>>> On 11 Nov 2016 06:45, "Reynold Xin" < <mailto:
>>>> wrote:
>>> Adding members@
>>> On Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 10:40 PM, Reynold Xin < <mailto:
>>>> wrote:
>>>> To play devil's advocate: is it OK for Apache projects that consist
>>>> primarily of Chinese developers to communicate in Chinese? Or put it
>>>> differently -- is it a requirement that all communications must be in
>>>> English?
>>>> I can see an inclusiveness argument for having to use English, as
>> English
>>>> is one of the most common languages. However, many talented software
>>>> developers in China don't have the sufficient level of proficiency
>> when it
>>>> comes to English, as the penetration rate of English in China is much
>> lower
>>>> than other countries. It is as hard for Chinese speakers to learn
>> English
>>>> as for English speakers to learn Chinese.
>>>> One can certainly argue forcing everybody to use English will also
>> exclude
>>>> those Chinese developers, and from the perspective of the number of
>> native
>>>> speakers, Mandarin (a Chinese dialect) outnumbers English 3 to 1
>> according
>>>> to Wikipedia.
>>>> Similar argument also applies to Japanese, and many other countries,
>>>> except the number of Chinese speakers is much larger.

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