Bug#649356: difficult short package description
Martin Eberhard Schauer wrote:
> Dear Maintainers,
> reviewing the German translation of the package description I encountered the
> comment of the translator that he had difficulties to translate the short description (1).
> From my point of view the problem are the four nouns without any glue.
> Description: Device state change daemon
> Looking just at the caption: Is the daemon in charge of initiating device state
> changes or is its task to act upon state changes?
Yes, it's not exactly obvious. It's a sort of kFreeBSD equivalent of
udev (the "/dev/ and hotplug management daemon"), isn't it? Oddly
enough adding a noun to the pile can make it clearer:
Description: device state change monitoring daemon
(There's no need to capitalise "device".)
> The devd daemon provides a way to have userland programs run when certain
> kernel events happen.
> The long description answers this question and raises new questions. What
> would be a good package description? BTW: Although it has bad educational
> consequences focusing on common wording - the google fight stats prefer
> user space to userland.
That'll partly be because "user space" is ambiguous - google fight
can't tell us how many of those people writing that string are
talking about something else such as "diskspace available to users".
(When I google for 'user space', the second hit is using it to mean
a gamespace and the fourth actually says "userspace".) To avoid
ambiguity it needs at least a hyphen...
But then again given that it's a packaged daemon, already outside
kernelspace, I'm not sure it's worth making much of a fuss about the
fact that the programs devd runs are naturally also in userland.
You'd think if it's going to talk about the kernel/userland
distinction that it would mention that it's specific to the FreeBSD
kernel. Then again I suppose that can be taken for granted in a
FreeBSD man page.
> I would like to suggest a new version, recycling the upstream manpage (2):
> Description: Daemon to act upon device state changes
Fair enough, though again s/D/d/.
> The devd utility runs actions specified in a configuration file whenever a
> device is added or removed.
> Laying back, expecting the improved version from l10n-english ;-)
Short, but it gets the facts across, I suppose.
I wouldn't have called it a utility, even if that does avoid the
redundancy of "the devd daemon". Maybe it would make sense to start
by fully expanding the name and mentioning that it's associated with
a particular kernel?
Description: daemon to act upon device state changes
The FreeBSD device daemon runs actions specified in a configuration
file whenever a device is added or removed.
(Does this mean we can finally get rid of HAL? Cue 2001 quote...)
JBR with qualifications in linguistics, experience as a Debian
sysadmin, and probably no clue about this particular package