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Re: Bug#23522: man-db installs foreign language manpages

Peter Maydell <pm215@cam.ac.uk> writes:
> Fabrizio Polacco wrote:
> >On Sun, Jun 14, 1998 at 11:10:13PM +0200, Peter Maydell wrote:
> >> man-db installs Spanish, Italian and German versions of its manpages,
> >> as well as English ones.
> >
> >This is one of the goals of Debian.
> >It is surely the main reason for *my* partacipation to the project.
> >When I find a package wich doesn't install all the translations
> >available in its sources, I raise a bug asking to do so.
> My point wasn't that installing man pages for multiple languages was
> wrong, just that installing them without asking was wrong.

I disagree, for now!

> >Your opinion that translations are "unnecessary extras" is only your
> >opinion. My aim is to create a multilingual distribution. 
> They're unnecessary extras *on my machine*. If I don't want a web
> server on my machine, I don't install that package. If I don't want
> the Linux HOWTOs, I don't install doc-linux-text. If I don't want
> Spanish documentation, I should be able to not install it.
> Presumably this is (will be) a problem for (eg) German users too -- why
> should they have Spanish man pages *unless they ask for them*?

Participants in this discussion might be interested in what we have
been trying to do for the doc-base package, which basically right now
is all about establishing a common meta-data format which will be
palatable to package maintainers, i.e., not cause strain for them.

The issue of which tranlations you want boils down, for me, to being
very similar to the issue of what formats you want.  In the doc-base
discussions, taking place intermittantly on debian-doc, we are
considering tranlations to be akin to formats.  System administrators
should select what translations they want, just as they should be
allowed to select what formats (i.e., PDF, PS, HTML) they want.  This
should not be solved in an ad-hoc manner but rather in an integrated,
consistent matter.

The problem of indicating the metadata for documentation is the
problem that we've been wrestling with thus far.  I leave the details
of local knobs and the possibilities of auto-conversion or
auto-translation even until later.  The fact is that my time, as
doc-base maintainer, is very limited right now and very geared towards
hamm release rather then slink issues still is not helping thing move
along more quickly.  I can say that right now I'm inclinded to abandon
our proprietary metadata format and embrace dublin core, which will
have a straight-shot to XML/RDF.  And standardization is crucial in
this field.

The question of whether or not manpages need separate metadata
indicating what they are is something I've thought about.  My guess
would be that it would much better if we simply had an installation
heirarchy for man pages (doesn't man-db support this already, i.e.,
/usr/man/de or something?).  Someone who knows more about these
matters might be able to inform us about the issues more thoroghly,

.....A. P. Harris...apharris@onShore.com...<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>

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