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Re: Must debian-installer use iso-codes package when choosing country?

Martin, I try to resume the debate here : 

-the "country" list in Debian Installer countrychooser is taken from
the iso-codes package.

-This package uses the official ISO-3166 list :
http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods-services/iso3166ma/index.html. This
package is a work by Alastair McKinstry.

-Alastair and I recently updated the list to the most recent official
list of english and french names for "countries, regions are areas of
specific geopolitical interest"...exact wording of ISO-3166 list

-The official *short* name for TW, country often designed as "Taiwan", is
"Taiwan, Province of China". Hence the list was updated accordingly.

-This raises a concern by the Traditional Chinese translator
(Traditional Chinese is used in TW) which feels hurt by this

Below is my answer to him....maybe some statement by you, Martin, is
needed. Maybe not (the Debian Project Leader is not God, I know...:-)))

Quoting Tetralet (tetralet@pchome.com.tw):

> So, I suggest that debian-installer should not use the data form
> "iso-codes" package as country code.

Certainly not. I very rarely use strong position and always try to
open my mind to everything, but you are currently suggesting that we
should use our (Debian Installer) own country list.

The aim of the iso-codes packages is first giving to the whole Debian
distribution a correct list of "countries, regions...." as well as
languages and currencies lists.

If every package builds its own list, then the iso-codes package
becomes useless and I guess neither Alastair, neither myself will be
motivated for maintaining the package, which is a huge work.

> We should try to found something else to replace the "iso-codes" package
> in debian-installer.

For building what ? An iso-codes-which-is-OK-for-Taiwan and then after
an iso-codes-which-is-OK-for-Macedonia. Immediately after, you will
end up with an iso-codes-which-is-OK-for-China and an

If the problem is a problem for d-i, it is also a problem for the whole
Debian distribution.

I perfectly understand you're not entirely happy with the current name
of your country in ISO-3166. I wouldn't too.

As already wrote, you're perfectly entitled to change this in the
translation you manage as zh_TW is only used in TW (and Singapore,

You are the one doing the work, so denying this to you would be

But the reference has to remain the international standard. I know UN
are not entirely neutral regarding the TW/CN struggle, and I know that
your country feels being abandoned by UN when China was recognised a
few years ago. I even share this feeling.

My personal feeling is that TW and CN are separated countries which
should now learn to live together without dreaming of a reunification
which is currently an awakened dream.


But this is a personal feeling which has nothing to do with the work
we do in Debian.

Debian cannot take position in place of international authorities on a
topic which seems impossible to solve since 1949...

Currently, the only way we have is using iso-codes. The list building
and the translations are already done, so we won't certainly reinvent
the wheel.

So, as a resume to my current position:

1°: we keep iso-3166 list
2°: I suggest you translate your country name to "Taiwan" in zh_TW.po
for iso_3166:

bubulle@mykerinos:~/src/debian/iso-codes/iso_3166> po_stat zh_TW.po
56 translated messages, 65 fuzzy translations, 119 untranslated messages.

As long as this iso-3166 translation in zh_TW is incomplete, you will
be presented with the English name list...which you don't like, when
choosing zh_TW.

So, go ahead and finish the zh_TW translation of iso_3166. 

If you think this is huge work, probably choose an intermediate
solution by quickly copy English names for all countries in zh_TW.po
when the entry is either fuzzy or untranslated....EXCEPT of course for
"Taiwan, Province of China" which you will translate to "Taiwan" of
whatever you prefer (I suggest you use the official short name of your
country, used by your own country official authorities).

Doing so, the people using zh_TW as language in Debian installer, or
in Debian, will see the name they want to see in whichever package
uses iso-codes as a refence for country names.

For sure, people using English will still see the name you don't
like. Some, probably of Chinese (or probably Taiwanese) origin, will
probably even complain about this. We will point them to

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