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Re: A language by any other name

Let us think on the possible solution of the problems.  There are two

    FIRST. Gdm makes LANG to have value english.  But this (currently)
is non-existing locale.  The solution is to make `english' an alias of
some existing locale.  It is true that in most English countries people
speak British English and in the others people learn British English. 
But as you have always noticed no consensus on aliasing `english' as
`en_UK' is possible.  So my proposal is to make `english' an alias of

    SECOND. Gdm doesn't allow people to choose their locale by the menu.
In my opinion that is absolutely inconvenient as gdm is going to became
the standard display manager for Debian 3.0.

I think that gdm proceeds in this way: 

  1. It reads /etc/locale.alias.  This makes it know what locales it
should present in the menu.
  2. But it wants to present more human-friendly names than those in
/etc/locale.alias.  That's why gdm uses its internal translation list.
For example it translates `english' to `English'.  The translated name
may contain spaces or special characters.

Now what we can do?  Different solutions are possible, but an easy one I
think is the following:

  1. Make gdm to use some automatically generated file in /var instead
of /etc/locale.alias.  This file is generated by /etc/init.d/gdm at
startup and lists the actually existing locales in the system.  As we
know these are the uncommented locales in /etc/locale.gen.
  2. Optionally, the gdm maintainer can change the internal translation
list of gdm.  It will be nice if gdm can write say

English (Canada, UTF-8)

instead of `en_CA.UTF-8'.

Anton Zinoviev, zinoviev@debian.org

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