Re: gettext packages
> > I am a little confused by the gettext packages in potato and the
> > archive. Both gettext and liblocale-gettext-perl are, according to
> > their control files, in the base section, but neither live in base in
> > the archive. Also, while gettext is optional, liblocale-perl-gettext
> > is important.
> > So do we have any sort of policy about these sorts of packages, and
> > indeed about these two packages specifically? Should we make them
> > both important, and encourage all packages which have shell or perl
> > scripts to make use of gettext, to facilitate i18n?
> Rgarding gettext, I think it should be of standard priority, and every
> shell script using the gettext command should check for its existence
> first (and use "echo" instead), so that we do not have dependencies on the
> gettext package and people who do not like it may remove it.
> > And as i18n support improves, will we move towards providing all of
> > the translations within the one package, or will we have one
> > English-only package, maybe several other one-language+English
> > packages and one i18n package with lots of languages?
> The GNU standard (which we follow implicitly) is to provide message
> catalogs in the same package.
But then your first comment seems crazy: /usr/bin/gettext is only 17k,
whereas the message catalogs are likely to be several times that
size. Also, sysadmins may not realise the value of a package like
gettext, which provides their non-English users with the ability to
read program output in their own language. And getting a sysadmin to
do something helpful can be like, well, you can guess.
I really would like to see gettext as being considered an important
package. As Debian increasingly provides internationalised programs,
a Good Thing, it is going to be increasingly annoying always to have
to either check for gettext's presence or to Depend upon it.
An interesting possibility I have just thought of is that of i18n of
maintainer scripts. If it is known that gettext is installed as part
of the base system, possibly even marked Essential, then any non-base
maintainer scripts can make use of gettext. (Although perl one's will
have other problems.)
Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths, QMW, Univ. of London. J.D.Gilbey@qmw.ac.uk
Debian GNU/Linux Developer, see http://www.debian.org/~jdg