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Bug#559795: debian-installer: The purpose of choosing a country is unclear

On Tuesday 08 December 2009, Florian Zumbiehl wrote:
> > > ... and the window title reads something with language, the menu
> > > item that gets you there is about language, too. Not very suggestive
> > > of time zone selection, really ...
> >
> > Technical constraint. The "window title" is the menu item name.
> I totally understand and actually suspected that - that doesn't make
> it the slightest bit less confusing, though.

Actually, it turns out the debconf does have a facility to change the 
dialog title dynamically. Actually it has two, one of which (db_title, the 
only one I personally was aware of) is deprecated, which explains why we 
didn't want to use that. But the other one (db_settitle) works fine.
Pity that option was not discovered a long time ago...

I have just committed a patch that changes the dialog title according to 
the three main stages of localechooser:
- Select language
- Select location
- Configure locales

(I've opted to also change the title for the "language" stage to get rid of 
the artificial "<translation>/<English>" text used for the menu.)

> I think you quite fundamentally misunderstood my suggestion.
> It's not at all about splitting the language selection in two
> (at least not more "in two" than it currently is), but mostly
> about making time zone selection as independent from language/locale
> selection as, say, mirror selection already is.

No, we understand perfectly. We just don't agree.

The reason mirror selection has a separate list of countries is that not 
all countries have mirrors. So we really *need* to have a second list: a 
list of the actual countries that have mirrors. There is no such need for 
time zone selection, and there are very good reasons not to want to 
duplicate country selection in too many places.

The new version of localechooser no longer mixes up things. It now has 
three very clear distinct stages that are combined in a single
"localization" installation step:
- selection of language
- selection of the users location
- configuration of locales for the installed system

The last stage *uses* the information from the first two stages, just as 
keyboard selection, mirror selection and time zone configuration use that 
same information.

> ... and then just don't force the user to use a time zone that matches
> their "country" which they selected under "language selection".

This is the fundamental issue. But if you accept the concept of the three 
separate stages and the fact that the selected country should match the 
actual location of the user instead of being directly related to the 
eventual system locale (which is now much clearer than it used to be, but 
possibly can be improved further), then it is fully consistent to use that 
country as the basis for selecting the time zone.

> I'd be bit surprised if it really was such a major undertaking ...

I would not, not to mention other downsides such as increased memory usage. 
And as I've done most of the actual coding in this area over the past two 
years, and Christian has done most of the original coding before that...


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