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Re: I18N (Multibyte Enablation) of debconf

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At Tue, 17 Jun 2003 09:07:38 +0900 (JST),
Tomohiro KUBOTA wrote:
> So far debconf has some problems handling multibyte character
> encodings such as UTF-8, EUC-JP, EUC-KR, GB2312, and Big5.
> Thus, I wrote a patch to enable it.  I would like my patch be
> tested by peoples who use many 8bit/multibyte characters
> before I will ask this patch adopted by debconf.
> Detailed explanation and analysis, screenshots, the patch,
> and patched package of debconf are available at:
> http://www.debian.or.jp/~kubota/mojibake/debconf
> A problem occurs when debconf is used in UTF-8 in languages
> which use many non-ASCII characters.  Since number of bytes
> of a string is not same as number of character nor number of
> columns, line-folding doesn't work well.  In languages with
> small amount of non-ASCII characters (such as German), the
> problem rarely occurs even in UTF-8, so 8bit/multibyte people
> will have to help ourselves otherwise we might be left behind.
> Chinese and Japanese have additional problems.  Since they
> don't use whitespaces between words, translators have to
> insert whitespaces per about 70 columns to ensure the line-
> folding work well.

I've translated some debconf po files to Japanese and must insert
whitespace into unnatural location; Please imagine a string like
 'He llo, Debi an'.

> To test my patch:
>   1. Download the patched package of debconf and install it.
>   2. test the above problematic situations.

I tried this with ja_JP.eucJP and ja_JP.UTF8 some weeks ago, and it
looks fine. All of my translated debconf message files (XFree86,
debconf, PostgreSQL, and so on) were displayed correctly.

I hope that more people checks this and JoeyH will merge this patch.
- -- 
Kenshi Muto
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