The Big ACL Opening

Paul W. Frields stickster at
Thu Oct 16 17:37:43 UTC 2008

On Thu, 2008-10-16 at 19:14 +0200, Lennart Poettering wrote:
> On Wed, 15.10.08 15:18, Casey Dahlin (cdahlin at wrote:
> > What will happen is all packages which are now set to be private,  
> > accessible by their maintainers and a few specific individuals only,  
> > will be opened up to all überpackager members. Members of überpackager  
> > represent a filtered minority of CVS comitters, but membership is easy  
> > to come by for anyone that asks.
> Hmm, am I the only one who finds the choice of the term "überpackager"
> a bit questionnable?
> I am assuming this refers to Nietzsche's "Übermensch" which to start
> with is not a particular sympathetic idea to many. What I find
> particularly problematic however is that at least in Germany this term
> more often than not implies some kind of connection to, uhh, certain
> dark times about 60 years ago.
> Prefixing things with "über-" seems to be popular in the english
> speaking world these days. In the German language it is however not
> common to build new words with that prefix -- and the aforementioned
> connotation plays a role in that.
> I don't think using smelly worlds like that one and forgetting about their
> history would be good for a formalized workflow like ours in
> Fedora. I mean, we are supposed to be democratic with all our
> board elections and stuff. But, uh, using Nazi terminology is not a
> good way to promote that.
> Or, if we have "Überpackagers", maybe it's time to rename normal
> packagers to "Unterpackagers"? That would fit awfully well into our
> pursuit for world domination, wouldn't it?

If we were to go with a dead language instead and say "ultrapackagers,"
would that be less likely to offend?  (Serious question, not being

Use of "über-" has indeed made the jump to slang English.  I think
there's an increasing tendency in new media communities to attempt to
subvert or undermine existing connotations of terms, for better or
worse.  In cases like this, I think we unconsciously or semi-consciously
think we're deflating any unpleasantness by using them casually.  I'm
certain no offense was intended, but your comment is worth serious

Paul W. Frields
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717   -  - stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug
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