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support for multilingual Packages files?

NOTE: this is cc-ed to submit@bugs.debian.org - remember to trim that
address from the CC: header if you reply.

Package: tty-client
Version: 0.13.alfa.6-1

Description: TTY client for LysKOM [Swedish]
 Med lyskom kan du koppla upp dig till ditt favorit-LysKOM. Ett
 LysKOM är ett datoriserat konferenssystem där du kan delta i
 diskussioner, ställa frågor, och komma i kontakt med intressanta

huh? the Description field should be in english, like all other

there is no way for a non-swedish speaker to tell what the package is,
what is useful for, or even whether it is a generic tool or specific to
a particular swedih service.

it's bad enough that we don't have any real multilingual support for
Packages files, but having multiple languages in the one Packages
file makes it worse. that goes from requiring that debian users have
a passing familiarity with one language (english) to having a passing
familiarity with any and all languages. this not only makes it harder
for debian users, it also hampers any translation efforts.

if you want your native language in the Packages file (an admirable
goal), then the thing to do is NOT to use random languages in the
standard Packages file, it is to work on adding support for Packages.en,
Packages.se, Packages.de, Packages.XX to dpkg, dselect, apt, and other

(i believe there is a project in progress to do that, but don't recall
the details - try searching the debian-devel archives)

also, if the package is specific to a particular service (LysKOM?)
then it shouldn't use a generic name like tty-client, it should be
lyskom-client or lyskom-tty-client.


craig sanders <cas@taz.net.au>

Fabricati Diem, PVNC.
 -- motto of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch

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