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Re: installation of locales (particularly CJK locales) by the installer / tasksel

Quoting Tony Ma (tony__ma@hotmail.com):
> I have just tried the Sarge RC3 net installer.  It is very smooth, free of 
> glitch and straight forward.  However the only criticism I have is that 
> unlike the Fedora Anaconda installer, the Sarge RC3 installer does NOT ask 
> for installation of locales.  Therefore after installation, I have to take 
> the trouble to take the following tedious steps manually in order to 
> restore Chinese display, printing and input functions:
> recreate the Chinese, Japanese and Korean locale by running 
> dpkg-reconfigure locales

The locales package is installed for every install and the locale used
during the install is generated.

If you install at medium priority, IIRC you will get the locales
configuration question (I'm not sure of this, indeed). Skipping this
on default installs has been chosen because this is most of the time
an action for skilled administrators, not easy to be properly
understood by average users.

> use synaptics to install Chinese fonts and postscript converters to allow 
> display and printing of Asian characters

This, and all other stuff you mention have to be added to the
appropriate chinese, korean, japanese tasks in tasksel if it is
considered they are to be installed for each instal in one of these

However, this is usually considered too late for doing these changes.

I urge teams of CJK languages to build a list of packages which have
to go in these tasks (there are already wishlist bugs for chinese-t tasks)

> use synaptics to install appropriate locale packages of different programs, 
> such as kde, openoffice, firefox

This is more tricky, if the underlying packages are not installed by
the language tasks.

> manually treak the configuration files (such as firefox) so that it can 
> look up the correct fonts and print Chinese correctly)

This should be discueed with the localization-config package
maintainer. But firefox is not installed by default.

> manually treak the X windows configuration files so that it is aware of the 
> existance of SCIM

Obviously belongs to localization-config as long as the related
packages are installed by tasksel.

> Also these steps could have been easily automated by tasksel in the 
> installer, which can ask the locales to include in the operating system 
> straight on the next screen after asking what software to install, as in 
> what has been done in Anaconda in Fedora.  Then tasksel can install and 
> configure all the extra necessary packages to accomodate DISPLAYING, 
> PRINTING and INPUT requirements of ALL of the selected locales 
> This feature is essential for future versions of debian installer, 
> otherwise people who also need non-English locales will be simply SCARED 
> AWAY from Debian before realizing its strengths.

Please don't shout.

There is currently only one contributor from the "CJK world" among
Debian Installer team regular contributors (Kenshi Muto). I
volunterily omit translators (Carlos Liu did a great job on zh_CN
translations, Tetralet as well on zh_TW and Changwoo Ryu on ko) here
because their work was mostly focused on translations with no hard
work on installation "user friendliness" and testing.

The chinese tasks of tasksel have been neglected over the months/years
of D-I development and nothing happened, for instance, after the major
changes made in tasksel by the D-I team during 2004. This, mostly
because we have no regular Chinese contributors which focus on Chinese

The only tests which have been made on desktop installs have been done
by non CJK contributors (eexcep Kenshi), who obviously cannot go
beyond a very basic test that nothing is broken for the display. 

Input methods handling, for instance, has nearly received NO testing. 

I bet we will regret this, but what else could have been done.

It's really time for specialists of CJK handling to join us in the D-I
team and this, not only for translation. At least we will be able to
work on post-sarge evolutions as it is obviously too late for deep
changes in sarge.

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