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Re: Default language for system


> > I suspect such an approach can annoy users.
> > 'LANG=pl' causes many softwares to output Polish messages, even if
> > the console (including terminal emulator in X and so on) does not allow 
> > it.  Only a user who is sure that the console can display Polish
> > character set (ISO-8859-2, I guess) should set LANG variable.
> Why? An user can set LANG=C in his own profile.

Of course a user who wants to set LANG=C or LANG=pl can do.
You are to set LANG=pl in /etc/environment for Polish users'
convenient, aren't you?  However, if LANG is set to 'pl' and,
at the same time, if the console cannot display Polish characters,
a user will be annoyed.  Messages the user would see would be
meaningless ISO-8859-1 (is that right?) substitutes of ISO-8859-2.  

You don't really have any experience of such row of meaningless 
characters, do you?  I am often annoyed by meaningless messages 
written in 'Japanese' with ISO-8859-1 (or other) fonts.

Ok, I don't say more if Polish people are happy with the
setting because I don't know how Polish people set-up 
Polish environment.

> I don't understand why the Debian must be English-only distribution
> by default.

ASCII characters are the only characters which can displayed
safely in every consoles.  Of course I want i18n of Linux.
I strongly feel I need i18n everytime I find a software cannot
handle my language (Japanese).  I always think it is a stupid 
situation that a Japanese newbie has to be an expert on set-up
of Japanese environment before starting using Linux.   This is
why I wrote 'user-ja' package to semi-automatically establish 
basic Japanese user environment.
However, unfortunately it is unsafe to assume that desired 
characters are correctly displayed everywhere.

> Please note, this setting will be done if the administrator choise
> this language in debconf dialog.

I have one question: can the raw Linux console display Polish
characters (ISO-8859-2?) correctly?

And note: /etc/environment affects not only an administrator's 
environment but also all users' environments.

Tomohiro KUBOTA <kubota@debian.or.jp>

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