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Re: charsets in debian/control

On Sun, Dec 05, 2004 at 04:42:24PM -0500, Daniel Burrows wrote:
> On Sunday 05 December 2004 03:32 pm, Jose Carlos Garcia Sogo wrote:
> > > Would Peter permit me a mild dissent?  I prefer Latin-1.  Reason: I can
> > > recognize and distinguish Latin-1 characters, even when I do not always
> > > understand the words they spell.  Recognizing and distinguishing the
> > > characters is important to me.  And not just to me.  Imagine the dismay
> > > of a Korean user trying to read Arabic script in a control file.

> >  But the only field in UTF8 should be Maintainer, and that field should
> > have (IMHO) also a roman transliterate for the name, if you don't use a
> > latin charset (Greek, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese...)

>   Well, when aptitude gets UTF8 support, it'll decode all the control fields 
> that are mainly meant for human consumption: that means at least Description 
> in addition to the Maintainer field, and maybe also Section.

>   I don't see any reason to limit ourselves in the long term by sticking to 
> Latin1 (or ASCII) just because none of us can read all of the languages that 
> are available in the extended UTF8 namespace.  If we want people to stick to 
> certain subsets of UTF8, that should be determined in Policy, not the 
> packaging software.

>   If you want a practical concern (aside from, say, a general suspicion of 
> building policy into software tools), consider these cases:

>   -> Someone wants to translate the Description fields of all packages in 
> Debian into Chinese or Arabic.  What will they do if the package tools only 
> support Latin-1?

>   -> Someone wants to use the Debian packaging tools to create a new 
> distribution for use in China.  Again, what will they do if the package tools 
> only support Latin-1?

Isn't there a proposal around for
Description#en: <English text>
Description#ja: <Japanese text>

I can see that this would have to be split somehow to avoid the
Packages file suddenly filling CD1 on its own, but...

Paul "TBBle" Hampson, Paul.Hampson@Anu.edu.au
7th year CompSci/Asian Studies student, ANU

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