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Re: Translating Packages file [Re^2: Link to Japanese Debian?]

[This post is in CC to debian-i18n. I strongly suggest to move this
thread to that list, 1) because it is the list for internationalization,
2) because there is people interested in the matter which doesn't follow
debian-devel, 3) in debian-devel there is too noise.]

> > I wrote:
> > 
> > More: people deriving from Debian rebuild their own Packages file
> > using dpkg tools; how to manage that?

Jim Pick wrote:
> Maybe the use of the overide mechanism of dpkg-scanpackages could be
> extended?

Do you mean adding the various translations of the Description field to
the override file?

That would work only for installation via dselect.
And anyway how could the translated descriptions go in the 
/var/lib/dpkg/status and available files?

I think that adding them to the control file in each package is the
right thing to do; we need only to set a policy about maintainers asking
for translations (on new packages, e.g.) and the way back, and how to
keep all this simple.

A clever use of the bug tracking sistem could help:
We set up teams of translators each with their own mailing list (AFAIK
Italian and Frech already exist), and each team choose a "coordinator"
(is this the right name?). There is a "virtual maintainer" (e.g.
i18n-teams) which is an alias of all those "coordinators" and/or the
various mailing lists.

Thus each maintainer whose Description field needs translation (because
it is a new or updated text) raise a bug against the "virtual
maintainer" (i18n-teams) supplying the text to be translated;
The teams translate (shouldn't take too much time for few lines :-) and
each "coordinator" sends back the translation via the bug tracking
The maintainer adds the translations in his control file and, after his
next upload, Packages files could be updated.

(this procedure could be used for several things to be translated, like
manpages, message catalogs, etc.)

How to achieve this?
 - dpkg-scanpackages should be modified to build several Packages files,
   one for each language (with the english description as default).
 - dpkg-dev should accept the new fields in the control file
 - dpkg should let the new fields in the status/available files
   (probably it already works this way), 
 - dpkg should test the user's LANG env var to show the right
   description (default english) when option --status is used.
 - dselect (and deity later) should check the user's LANG var and use
   the appropriate Packages file, if it is available.
 - choose a simple naming scheme for the new Packages files (I suggest
   adding the LANG value, or its first 2 chars to avoid proliferation;
   we could even flame if adding it after or before, like de-Packages
   vs Packages-de :-).


| fpolacco@icenet.fi  fpolacco@debian.org  -  Using Debian GNU/Linux !
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>"Fino a che vi sarà nel mondo un paese che mantenga la pena di morte
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> mondo, degli uomini che lo riterranno il più giusto, il più saggio
> dei paesi, e s'identificheranno con esso."    [Elio Vittorini]

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