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language-specific packages

there are more and more large language-specific packages entering the
debian archives recently - e.g. various documentation files in all sorts
of different languages.

that's a great thing, it's good for debian to be internationalised.

however, it's a very expensive and time-consuming PITA for those running
local mirrors who don't want to download hundreds of megabytes of 
packages that are of no use to them.

as an english speaker (with an ADSL connection that costs 13.9 cents per
megabyte above 3GB - i.e. $139 per gigabyte), i have no interest in my
local mirror script downloading doc packages spanish, french, russian or
other languages....and i'm sure that, e.g., spanish speakers have no
interest in downloading german or russian or whatever, either.

it is necessary and useful for these packages to exist, there's no doubt
about that.

it would be good, though, if they were located in a specific
subdirectory so that they could all be excluded with simple regexps
rather than having to edit the mirror script (*AFTER* the fact) to
exclude every new unwanted language package.

e.g.  one possible way of organising it is:

english language doc packages could go in /pool/.../doc/english/...
spanish language doc packages could go in /pool/.../doc/spanish/...
russian language doc packages could go in /pool/.../doc/russian/...
french language doc packages could go in /pool/.../doc/french/...
german language doc packages could go in /pool/.../doc/german/...

and so on.

this should probably be done with a Language field in the control file,
which will take time to decide upon and implement...in the meantime, the
ftp overrides file could be used to force specific language packages to
go into certain directory trees.

also, if there was a Language field in the control file (and therefore
in Packages.gz), then tools like debmirror could be configured to
exclude certain languages on demand...or to include only packages that
either have no Language field or where the Language field matches a
regexp such as /english/ or /spanish/ or even /english|spanish|french/
for those who want multiple languages.


craig sanders <cas@taz.net.au>

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

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