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Re: Towards better euro support in Debian

On Mon, Oct 29, 2001 at 08:54:53AM +0100, Nicolas SABOURET wrote:
> Hi !
> I'm doing the same for french users (but using T. Kubota's language-env
> package plus a user-friendly documentation in french), in the frame of
> "how to correctly configure your debian system for french".

	I am actively maintaining a solution for
internationalistation/localization for spanish users in the 'user-es'
	This package includes a program ('castellanizar') which
customizes user environrment. AFAIK the lang-env environment does this
but is only prepared for a limited number of environments (using

> I'd like to know : is your package for debian woody or both stable &
> woody ? What I'm trying to do is to provide a solution for both systems.
> I suggest euro-makers on this list take contact with each others to give
> the solutions they propose to their users.

	I am trying to. However, some issues are not fixed in Debian
potato. For example: Debian potato does not have that many iso8859-15
	What I'm trying to do is 

1st document what users need to do manually
2nd based on the previous information write a (robust) script that
is able to properly configure the environment.

	Since this script needs to touch other configuration files in the
system (belonging to other packages) I'm not sure how to do this. User-es'
castellanizar needs to be invoked manually but the superuser in order to
work properly, however, the fonty package does this on installation
(IMHO violating policy since it modifies console-tools' config file).
The "fonty-way" seems much better in any case (and much more transparent
to hte user)

> I've made a small documentation available at
> http://www.limsi.fr/Individu/nico/debian/debian-french.html/
> BUT ONLY IN FRENCH (I'm sorry, I had no time to translate it).
	I have seen that some i18n groups (german, french...) have
this kind of information published but not on the main www site.
Could this be published in the DDP? Is it written using debiandoc-sgml?
In any case, IMHO this should be published in
which (AFAIK) only includes information on the French translation
project (http://www.debian.org/international/french/index.fr.html)

> Think that the "adding euro" problem will only appear once. I mean,
> within 2 months, everybody will need to have it. As a consequence, I
> think Debian should give the users a system with euro for europeans
> users, don't you think so ? IMO, this means :
> - making sure that the "regular" installation of woody makes euro
> accessible to anybody
> - proposing an extension for potato with euro support.

	Agreed. The potato extension is easy, mainly just the console-data
upgrade (or the fonty package which is already in potato) and the
necessary X fonts (which should work without needing to upgrade

> The second point is one of the reasons why I'm trying to use T. Kubota's
> package, wich totally & automatically backportable to potato. However,
> if your package does the same, I'm very intersted in looking at it.

	I haven take a look into Kubota's package. It seems we are
kind of dispersed here since there is a user-es, a user-de, a user-ja
and a language-env which is not *exactly* the union of all of them.
All these should be merged into a single package source (so developers
could benefit from ideas developed by others), and maintained by
a "Debian internasionalition group" (like the QA group) so there's no
need to NMU.

> As far as I've seen, it is a very hard task. I had to make a very
> complete documentation to answer all user's specific questions.
> Plus I believe the solution you adopt depend on the language you use. OK
> for iso8859-1 languages (spanish, german, french for instance), but what
> about other languages.

	It is pretty easy to fix this on a per-language issue. That is, I
expect to include automatic euro support first in user-es than in the
euro-support package because I already know what the user language is when
he installs a package.
	The problem with a general (not language specific) solution is
that we currently do not have in Debian a common configuration file which
states the systems' prefered language. 
	Boot-floppies does ask the user his language (to setup the
keyboard upon installaion) but AFAIK this is not saved in any common
configuration file.
	Thus, we might need an /etc/debian-language file created by
boot-floppies which other packages (language-env) can use to determine 
which is the target language. This could also be used by other packages
(Xfree, console-tools, gdm) to automatically setup the prefered language.
	This would move the configuration from a central package (like
user-es) into every package in Debian which had to adhere to this (in

 > Please to meet other "euro-friendly" maintainers, ;-)

	Me too :)


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