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Re: /usr/doc/<lang> | base packages

Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> Fabrizio Polacco:
> > We need a way to tell the system (dpkg?) that one (or more)
> > particular
> > locale is installed, and thus all documentations, manpages, message
> > catalogs embedded in "normal" packages are to be installed in their
> > proper places.
> My proposal:
>         each package comes with documentation at least in English
>         if it comes with non-English documentation, that is either
>         included in the same package if small, or put into one or
>         more separate packages if large

This is right, but it's not enough.

we have, say, the package xyz which comes with documentation (manuals,
manpages and other) in more languages: english, of course, french,
german, swedish and finnish. 
All this documents are 400k so a separate package for each language is
not worth to be done. (think of 100-200 packages in the same situation)

Now you're the maintainer and you have to debianize it. 
What do you do?
If you decide to install anyway all the translations in every system,
you know you'll get bad emails, because obviously nobody wants all them.

You need a criterium to decide what languages are required by the user
(after the english, which is mandatory).

There are several possibilities here:
 - you can ask the user in a postinst,
 - you can ask dpkg for the presence of a particular package,
   e.g. lang-fi,
 - you can look for a particular file or directory whose existence
   tells you that the user wants some languages,
 - you can look into a well known file (e.g: /etc/languages) in which
   the user or some other program has written the languages to be
   installed in this system.
(also any combination of the above is good to do the job).

So you install the documents in the requested languages and in the same
way all the other packages do their installation.
Some well known directories (/usr/man/fi_FI, /usr/doc/lang-fi, or any
other) go populated with the documents.

Now imagine the user decide that he doesn't want the documents in
finnish for any reason (he needs space, he found the finnish language
too difficult  :-) , ...). What should it do?
 - remove the documents by hand?
 - run a particular program that does the removal in the right way?
 - purge a particular package (e.g. lang-fi) whose scripts do the job?

And what when our user decide that maybe swedish is better and wants to
access the documents in swedish, and this decision is taken *after* all
the packages have been installed and configured?
 - ... (sorry, no ideas) ...

If the example above seem too particular to you, think of a ISP or a
server in a university or in a multinational office ... in every place
where can happens that come people speaking different languages (please,
don't say that in this occasions the people envolved knows at least
english, because this is not true, and I moved to Finland just because
this wasn't true for almost two or three persons ... )

I think that this is not a trivial problem, and I would like to see a
good solution adopted by Debian (better for 1.3).

Hyvää yötä (good night),
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