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More support European users in Debian

After finishing the latest version of the German-specific HOWTO, I can
give some details for a better support of European users of Linux. If
somebody has more information, I would be more than happy to include them
in the next version of the HOWTO. Please forgive me that my knowledge is
limited to iso-8859-1.

The country-specific configuration can be structured as follows:

		POSIX conforming
		non conforming

		Keymaping (console)
		Softfont (console)

		Character encodings (optionally)
		Printer Setup

To configure the "POSIX conforming" applications, we need a little tool
to present a list of all countries for which locale-settings are available
("ls /usr/share/locale"). The user chooses his country from this list -
and the tool sets the environment-variable "LANG" to the appropreciate
value. The "Linux Locale mini-HOWTO explains everything about this

My suggestion would be to try to derive most of the rest of the
country-specific configuration from the LANG-variable. So if we set this
variable very early in the setup process every setup-script would be able
to make at least good guesses (and ask the user about them). 
For the LANG-variable a place to affect every shell/programm would be
the holy "/etc/init.d/boot". Simple and effective.

The "non conforming"  applications (e.g. "emacs") only need slight
modifications to their configuration file. A (incomplete?) summary of
these modifications is at the end of this e-mail. Package maintainers,
please read it.

"loadkeys" and "softfont" already have setup-tools, but they are somewhat
to spartanic: instead of displaying the filenames in
/usr/lib/kbd/keytables they should display the associated country names.

The timezone is the big exception because it can't be determined by LANG
in many common cases. But this is no problem because every user knows the
capitol of the local country.

I mention the character encoding for text-files because I use the aliases
"recode ibmpc:lat1" to convert DOS-texts. That's purely optional.

The printer setup depends on the capabilities and configuration of it:
does it handle the iso-8859-1 character set (and is it configured to use
it [-> conflicts with DOS])?


"readline" and friends
    Config file: ~/.inputrc

       set meta-flag on
       set convert-meta off
       set output-meta on

"ytalk" requires a patch

"selection" can't deal with 8bit properly (superceeded by gpm anyways)

    Config files: ~/.dosrc and /etc/dosemu.conf

       keyboard {  layout de-latin1  keybint on  rawkeyboard on  }
       X { updatefreq 8 title `DOS in a BOX' icon_name `xdos' keycode }

    Config files: /usr/lib/emacs/site-lisp/site-start.el,
       ~/.emacs  and  /usr/lib/emacs/site-lisp/default.el

       (set-input-mode (car (current-input-mode))
                     (nth 1 (current-input-mode))
       (standard-display-european t)

    Config files: ~/.bash_profile and /etc/profile

       export LESSCHARSET=latin1

    Config files: ~/.pinerc and /etc/pine.conf

       # character-set should reflect the capabilities of the display
       # you have. Normal default is US-ASCII.  Typical alternatives
       # include ISO-8859-x, where x is a number between 1 and 9.

    Config files: ~/.joerc and /etc/joe/joerc


    Config file: ~/.elm/elmrc

       charset = iso-8859-1
       displaycharset = iso-8859-1
       textencoding = 8bit

    Config file: ~/.nn/init

       set data-bits 8

    Config files: ~/.lynxrc and /etc/lynx.cfg

       CHARACTER_SET:ISO Latin 1

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