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Re: The question about which language we use in the first is good

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 09:15:48PM +0900, Hideki Yamane wrote:
>  I used ubuntu-server edition CD, it seems to be good, because it asks 
>  which language we use. I hope d-i would ask same question in the first, 
>  too. This helps non-English speakers.
>  Is this difficult to implement to d-i?

I implemented that in Ubuntu. It's not done at the level of d-i, and
fundamentally can't be - it's done in gfxboot, which is a set of boot
loader hooks developed by SuSE which attach to syslinux. (The boot
loader is not really part of d-i, although we do configure it.) I filed
a bug report for this on Debian's syslinux package some time ago, but
this approach doesn't have a lot of favour upstream (it's fairly
intrusive, and they prefer a different menu scheme) so I've more or less
given up hope that it will happen in Debian.

As far as d-i is concerned, it already asks for the language as the very
first interactive thing it does on startup. The benefit in asking
earlier is simply so that boot loader menu items can be translated.
Debian doesn't really have an awful lot of verbosity there, though, so
it isn't all that bad as it is; not perfect, but I don't think the
situation is as complex as it is in Ubuntu.

Pragmatically, I think the best hope for this kind of thing will come
with GRUB 2. Once it's been tried out a bit more extensively, I think
there may be some hope that we can use it as a CD boot loader (I'm not
suggesting this any time particularly soon, though!), and by that time
Colin Bennett's graphical menu patch for it should have landed. Combine
that with GRUB 2's scripting support and the gettext code that's
underway at the moment and it should be possible to build a translatable
boot loader for d-i.

Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson@debian.org]

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