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debconf updates - po-debconf and debconf-2.0

If you don't use debconf in your packages, you can hit n now.
I'm writing to bring people up-to-date on some recent changes in

Managing translations with po-debconf

The system for managing translated debconf templates has changed. Where
before you put translations in odd little debian/templates.ll files and
used debconf-mergetemplate to merge them at build time, the new system
uses standard po files, in debian/po/ll.po, and po2debconf, from the
po-debconf package, is used to merge them at build time.

Many of you are still using the old system, or worse, not keeping
translations in separate files at all. The main reasons to update to the
new system are:

- Translators can use standard po files, and do not need to learn
  anything new.
- The tools for managing the po files, updating them, and so on in
  po-debconf are much better than the old tools in debconf-utils.
- Perhaps most importantly, the old system does not provide encoding
  information to debconf, and this can result in garbage being shown to
  some users who use UTF-8, etc. po-debconf corrects this problem.

It is fairly easy to convert a package to use po-debconf. The
debconf-gettextize program can convert your existing debian/templates.ll
files to po files automatically. See the po-debconf(7) man page for
details. If you use debhelper, dh_installdebconf will automatically
detect and use po-debconf when appropriate.

I hope that all packages will be using po-debconf to manage their
debconf translations before the next major release of debian. You will
probably get a bug report eventually if you do not. The old tools are
already deprecated, and will spit out warning messages when run.

New debconf-2.0 virtual package

This is slightly premature, but I will mention it anyway. We would like
to eventually let debconf be swapped out for cdebconf (the
reimplementation in C done for the debian-installer project) on at least
some systems. To that end, a new virtual package, "debconf-2.0" was
added to policy. It will be provided by both debconf and cdebconf
eventually, and all package that declare a dependency on debconf will
need to be changed to depend on debconf-2.0 instead. (The "2.0" refers
to the debconf protocol version.)

It's probably premature to change any dependencies yet. You could, and
things would work, but your package may be held out of testing even
after the glibc logjam unsticks. I will make another announcement when
it's time to start this conversion, and of course dh_installdebconf will
be changed to insert the Right Thing at that point as well.

see shy jo

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