[vlc-devel] Christian Santa Hat removal?

Rob Whelan rob-jc at charter.net
Sat Dec 19 04:10:03 CET 2009

Again, I would stress that adherence to "Christmas Spirit" assumes a
cultural bias that one has exposure to the Christian faith, draws joy from
it and appreciates it as a vital feature of the function of a video
player/translation package.

None of those things appear to be true in this case.

Your own vehemence to the topic validates my concern that such items enhance
the religious and cultural separation that divide the package's users.  I do
not position myself as 'anti' anything in simply asking that users be given
a cosmetic choice.  This is not a complex issue and is done with many many
other parts of the software let alone something that is superfluous to its

This is not a 'feature' that is to be improved over time.  It is a choice by
designers to introduce a non functional endorsement for a holiday that is
not shared by most of the world.

This business of not supporting Moldavian is a little off considering the
project actively solicits people to act as translators for any language it
can find.  It would indeed support Moldavian if someone stepped forward to
include that.  It does not actively solicit artists to create icons for
Ganesh Chaturthi.

I am not asking for the feature to be removed, only optionally disabled for
those who do not adhere to "Christmas Spirit".  Christian holidays are not
universal despite the fact that some Christians (certainly not all) would
like them to be.

I am not sure who comprises the 'vast majority' of users as you put it, but
I am not at all certain that you are privy to that data.  With a billion
Chinese plus India, plus the Middle East one might assume those numbers do
not swing as far towards Europeans or Americans as could be assumed by
someone who is one.

-----Original Message-----
From: Pierre Ynard [mailto:linkfanel at yahoo.fr]
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 9:36 PM
To: vlc-devel at videolan.org
Cc: rob-jc at charter.net
Subject: Re: Christian Santa Hat removal?

Dear Sir,

> Is there a way to remove or disable the Christian holiday Easter egg?
> Many users (myself included) are not Christian and feel that this icon
> is probably not a good idea. We do not see similar Easter eggs for
> high holidays of other faiths (Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Buddhist
> and Hindu holidays etc.) and wonder if VLC is positioning itself as
> 'anti' other faiths since its development team is mostly European and
> American.

My personal opinion is that the majority of our user base is positively
receptive to the christmas spirit, and that the majority of those who
aren't positively receptive, aren't receptive at all, i.e. just don't

There are many features, formats or even translations that VLC doesn't
support well either, but the lack of support doesn't mean that VLC
positions itself against these features, formats or languages. However,
your request to remove the santa hat makes me wonder if you position
yourself as anti-christmas and anti-christian.

> It is a shame to make users who have supported the project feel as
> though they are less valued than other users.

Supporting a software project is usually about improving it and adding
extra features that will benefit some other users, but not about
removing features that will bring joy and happiness to many users by
helping to spread the kindness of the christmas spirit.

Also, VLC doesn't include a translation to the Molvanian language.
By your logic, in order to be in keeping with good global policy,
all translations should be stripped, because Molvanian people might
feel offended and less valued because VLC was translated to other
languages but not theirs. Well I disagree, and I find this attitude
displeasing. This is perfectly normal to have translations available for
some languages only, and there are even good reasons why we wouldn't
want to feature every language around (e.g. size constraints). So goes
it for the christmas spirit.

Kind regards,

Pierre Ynard
"Une âme dans un corps, c'est comme un dessin sur une feuille de papier."

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