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Re: charsets in debian/control

It is one thing spiritedly to argue a point against
friends and allies.  It is another to be obstinate.  I
do not wish the latter, and I admit that I am both
outnumbered and outreasoned today.  Please permit me
without malice to conform my position, which now might
be stated as follows.

  Unicode is a reasonable solution to a difficult yet
  important problem.  Broadly accepted even among
  Debian Developers from the Latin-1 countries,
  Unicode is also recognized outside Debian around a
  wider world.  Unicode is recommended for general
  Debian application.

  For non-localized purposes in which a restricted,
  byte-based character set is wanted, plain seven-bit
  ASCII is normally the logical choice.  As for
  Latin-1, although it served some needs in an earlier
  day, it must today be regarded as a local,
  incompatible encoding, not recommended for general
  international use.

I trust that you will inform me if the conformed
position yet lacks in any significant way!  Besides
expressing my own revised view, the statement also means
to summarize the subthread's key points.

Since I happen to have the attention of interested
people at the moment, I should say that I could use some
help in conforming debram's [7800 Non-English Natural
Language] division sensibly to the Unicode consensus.  I
lack the right knowledge to do it myself.  At present,
only the Latin-1 languages are sensibly differentiated
there.  The aid of a Russian (for group 7890) and a
Japanese (for group 7880) might be particularly
suitable, for instance.  (If you don't know what this is
about, it regards debtags [1].)

Turning to another matter, the responses to my impromptu
roster of Debian development skills indicate that the
roster has been taken in slightly a different manner
than I had meant it.

> ... the typical roster of skills one masters in
> contributing broadly to Debian development is ...
> awesome: C, C++, CPP, Make, Perl, Python, Autoconf,
> CVS, Shell, Glibc, System calls, /proc, IPC, sockets,
> Sed, Awk, Vi, Emacs, locales, Libdb, GnuPG, Readline,
> Ncurses, TeX, Postscript, Groff, XML, assembly, Flex,
> Bison, ORB, Lisp, Dpkg, PAM, Xlibs, Tk, GTK, SysVInit,
> Debconf, ELF, etc.---not to mention the use of the
> English language at a sophisticated technical level.

Although the roster may be interesting, it was meant
neither as a canonical proposal nor as a challenge.  In
fact it was just what I had happened to think of
informally at the moment.  For the record, I happen to
have a working familiarity with nineteen of the items on
my own roster, plus a limited familiarity with seven
more.  Were the roster a challenge, it would be a
foolish one, because Steve Langasek would beat me in a
Debian development contest and I know it.  As for the
other fifteen roster items, as Steve said,

> "contributing broadly to Debian" usually means
> mastering some of these skills, and knowing where to
> find answers for the rest.

Thaddeus H. Black
508 Nellie's Cave Road
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060, USA
+1 540 961 0920, t@b-tk.org

1. http://debtags.alioth.debian.org

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