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Serious issue with cdebconf translation filtering (was: Tasksel only partly localized?)

On Sunday 23 December 2007, Christian Perrier wrote:
> While running a default install with one of the dailies, I found out
> that tasksel was promptig me in English while the installation was
> running in French.
> Of course, tasksel's translation is complete for French, even for the
> uploaded version.
> Indeed, the *tasks names* were translated while the main screen ("At
> the moment, only the core of the system...") wasn't.

This is caused by the fact that the debconf-copydb call in pkgsel's postinst 
(to copy the d-i templates we want available in the target system) clobbers 
the templates.dat file in the target system.

AFAICT this is because of the post-Etch change to "filter out" translations 
other than the currently selected one.

This conclusion was reached as follows:
- I see the same issue for Dutch
- if I check templates.dat in target after pkgsel, it contains no
  translations for tasksel
- I've verified that the translations _are_ present after tasksel is
  installed during base-installer
- if the debconf-copydb call in the pkgsel postinst is commented out, the
  translated text is displayed correctly
- with the debconf-copydb call, the templates.dat file in /target shrinks
  from 518kB to 45kB

[... more testing ...]

The reason the selected language is filtered out as well is that we set 
LANG=C in pkgsel's postinst.

The issue can be worked around by adding a 'unset DEBCONF_DROP_TRANSLATIONS' 
in the pkgsel postinst, but I don't feel that would be the correct solution 
as IMO by default the filtering should just not have *any* effect on other 
debconf databases than the D-I one. Having to remember to unset such a 
dangerous option is not a good design.

A possible solution could be to NOT have DEBCONF_DROP_TRANSLATIONS=1 for the 
whole D-I environment but to only set it in places where we actually want 
the filtering to happen.

CCing Colin to get his input on this as he implemented the feature.


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