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Re: More support for European users in Debian

On Tue, 21 Jan 1997, Fabrizio Polacco wrote:

> The point was that translating also the system messages and localizing
> demons would break existing tools that expects that output in english.

Simplyfied: the output of daemons go into log-files. These log-files have
a certain format which is independent of the language. No problem so far.
But: certain words (as the day of the week) are key-words to the tools for
analyzing the log-files. 
Now, POSIX addresses this problem by allowing you to get the name of the
keyword in the foreign language. For simple cases (COLLATE,CTYPE,MONETARY,
NUMERIC,TIME) this should be sufficient.

But I hardly believe that any daemon out there honors the LANG variable
(and therefore we have no actual problem). If a daemon would honor it, we
could set LANG=C in the init.d-script (until proper tools are written to
analyze the output [if necessary at all]).

> On the other side, tools modified to accept another language will break
> if something goes wrong during the boot.

Of which tools do you think exactly? Other than for daemons (which do not
produce output other than to log-files), it should be sufficient to set
LANG=C for regular utitilies (before executing them).

> I also remember someone (Erik?) complaining about the huge amount of
> unused stuff installed by it.

"Unused" in the sense of "for all languages". Although I've only set
LANG=de_DE (a total of 220k), /usr/share/locale takes up 2MB disk
space. This may be even more in the future, if Debian ships all the
available message-files for the GNU-software.
It has to be configurable somewhere in the future which languages are
supported by a Linux-Box. Otherwise it will take up much disk-space (I
would estimate 46MB for all message-files in all languages).


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