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Helping with the locales package


GOTO Masanori, Petter Reinholdtsen and myself talked at DebConf5
to find ways to improve the support for locales in Debian.
There are currently 2 sets of packages: {libc6,locales}, maintained
by you Debian glibc maintainers, and belocs-locales-{bin,data}
that I maintain.  The latter set contains heavily patched versions
of localedef (to fix several annoying bugs and add new features, most
being reported upstream and ignored for now), locale-gen (new features)
and localedata (essentially contains all patches sent to Bugzilla and
Debian BTS, as well as some bits from Mandriva).

Our packages are very different, you glibc maintainers want to diverge
as few as possible from upstream, whereas I do not care much about
that and am not reluctant to apply patches.
Filling the gap does not seem easy, and we ended up with the following
compromise: I will help to push "good" changes into the locales package,
and will continue to maintain my alternate packages for those who want
the changes not already applied against locales.

Of course, the main issue is that I need to figure out what is acceptable
or not from your point of view.  There is also a more tricky one, which
is that I need to fix localedef bugs (see e.g. BZ368 and BZ645) in order
to generate some locales, so this is not only a matter of patching
localedata, some of my patches in belocs-locales-bin should also be
applied against localedef.  And I want to apply patches similar to the
one in BZ672, which tidies up drastically locale data files, help their
maintenance and are needed to update iso14651_t1 in the future.

Normally, I should now explain the patches I apply to belocs-locales-bin
so that we can discuss them and see which ones can be committed into the
Debian glibc package, but I forgot to tell GOTO-san that I will be on
vacation next week.  As you have surely more urgent things to do with
glibc 2.3.5, I suggest that those of you interested by the locales
package have a look at my belocs-locales-bin package, and we will
continue this discussion on early August when I am back from vacation.


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