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Re: Package descriptions and making them better

On Mon, Oct 01, 2001 at 01:41:05PM +1000, Martijn van Oosterhout <kleptog@svana.org> was heard to say:
> On Sun, Sep 30, 2001 at 01:33:05PM -0400, Daniel Burrows wrote:
> >   One thing I'd like to get responses to, which is also buried down at
> > the bottom of this mail, is the idea of the creation of a
> > "debian-proofreading" list which new package descriptions could be
> > (manually or automatically?) submitted to for comments.  This might be
> > especially helpful to people who don't speak English natively.
> What's wrong with using the recently discussed Debian Translation Server for
> this. Add the language English and people can then submit corrected
> descriptions for each package.

  Other people have already answered this..basically, there are a
couple things:

  Firstly, while poor English skills are part of the problem, they are not
the whole problem.  We also need to address the fact that people write
descriptions which are just not useful.  In fact, this might almost be
more problematic than bad English -- in all but the most extreme cases,
a native speaker unfamiliar with the package can easily submit a bug
against it with grammatical and stylistic corrections; if the
description does not provide enough information to work out what the
package is/does, this can be very difficult.

  Secondly, these fixes should go into the main project files.  The
ddts provides an auxillary location for translated descriptions, which
is a useful service given that dpkg and apt don't support translated
descriptions; however, the English-language descriptions are the only
description guaranteed to exist, they go into the packages themselves,
and they are shipped on CDs.  They should be as correct as possible.


/-------------------- Daniel Burrows <dburrows@debian.org> -------------------\
| "But what the eagle does not realize is that it is participating in a crude |
|  form of natural selection.  One day, a tortoise will learn to fly."        |
|   -- Terry Pratchett, _Small Gods_                                          |
\-------- Classes are first-class objects. -- http://www.python.org ----------/

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