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Re: Open letter to Debian community


At Wed, 31 Jan 2001 10:46:06 -0600,
The Doctor What <docwhat@gerf.org> wrote:

> Would it be horrible to add a line to the control field that lists
> what languages are supported by a package?  So that I could add a
> configuration option to dselect and/or apt to show me packages for
> languages I have?

What is the meaning of 'languages are supported by a package'?
I mean, for CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, i.e., multibyte-language
speakers) people, multibyte encoding support is much more important
than translations.  For example, we are very glad to use a word
processor which we can input CJK languages even though it has no
CJK translations, because so far multibyte-enabled softwares are
sorare that we cannot complain about translations.  (Note that
softwares without translations are merely _inconvenient_ while
softwares without multibyte support are _useless at all_.)  This
not only for word processors but also all for softwares which has
text processing, like perl, grep, awk, sed, wc, shells (you input
text on them), terminal emulators, web browsers, window managers
(have to display window titles in multibyte), gimp (has text writing
ability), and so on so on.  In future, when these softwares will
come to support multibyte encodings, then we will be able to want
translations.  Please consult my document "Introduction to I18N"
for detail.  ( http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/intro-i18n/ )

I think not only CJK but also Thai, Hebrew, Arab, and so on which
need special processing like combining character and bidi are located
in similar conditions.

In short, 'support for languages' has different meaning from language
to language.  Your 'control field' should be able to handle such
special (but more important) cases.

Tomohiro KUBOTA <kubota@debian.org>
"Introduction to I18N"

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