A big question that erupts is whose English is spoken in a global project. In a realm like Ubuntu, quite a number of participants come from nation-states where English is a primary language. English, as a language, is quite malleable.
Take for example our Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator for Life, Mark Shuttleworth, an Engineering Manager with Canonical, The Alan Pope, and myself as an Ubuntu Member. Each of us speaks English. Each of us participates in the Ubuntu realm. Each of us communicates in a slightly different form of English that ties back to our roots.
Mr. Shuttleworth is a South African billionaire and cosmonaut. Mr. Pope is an English professional in the world of Information Technology. I am an American who has wandered across the rust belt, the Samoan archipelago, and the desert southwest. Each of us speaks the same language but between us there will be quirks, colloquialisms, and idioms that are simply different.
Now, why does this matter? This turns back to the matter of Mr. Shuttleworth referring to a "skunkworks" which is a take on a term trademarked by the aerospace firm Lockheed Martin. In the 88th episode of the Burning Circle, I ended up discussing the choice of words and how perhaps the phraseology of "opening the kimono" was more appropriate. Instead of projects continuing in total secrecy, things are being opened up to bring in community members within the Canonical bubble. From the 1990s the American analog that Canonical is trying to get away from is "things done in a corner" which was a complaint that arises at points relative to the early days of Internet standards for things the Corporation for National Research Initiatives did quietly by itself.
For such a large and diverse community, the surprising thing is that we maintain such effective lines of communication. This is not easy to do. As we look ahead to the Raring Ringtail cycle, throughout the Ubuntu realm we do need to think not just about how we talk to each other about Ubuntu but also about how we communicate Ubuntu to others. As a former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Tip O'Neill once put it, all politics are local. So too are our languages and forms of communications in this world of fragile global communication structures.