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Re: Input support for Vietnamese

> Exactly. My colleague has offered to build the packages for us.  
> Should he go ahead and do that? Is there any specific procedure he  
> should follow?

Well, the usual procedure when one wants to build new packages:


If he/she feels OK for developing and maintaining the package him/herself:

-post an ITP (Intent To Package) bug report

-read the documentation on www.debian.org/devel to learn about Debian
 packages building. The Developer's Reference and the Debian Policy
 are the must read ones.

-create a first tentative package and find some official Debian
 developer, or any other Debian package maintainer, to look at
 it and help him/her making it compliant with the Debian policy

-find a "sponsor", ie someone willing to upload the package. That
 means an official Debian developer

-be prepared to MAINTAIN the package, ie deal with bug reports that
 will come. In short, this is not a one-shot work

An alternative procedure is posting a "RFP" bug report ("Request for
Packaging", see http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/n and mor eprecisely
http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/requested). Here, the chances that a
DD pops up and works on the package are pretty low.....most work on
what is their center of interest, this is how it works in a
volunteer-driven community.

> But I would imagine it would affect the installation, if at any point  
> the user has to input text. Hopefully display will be OK. The  
> screenshots in Dejavu from a non-Vietnamese user were ugly but did  
> show the characters mostly displaying. Dejavu has improved a bit  
> since then.

It may affect the installation at places where Vietnamese texts could
be needed. From experience, the only place where this can really
happen is the first created user real name. Actually, I must say that,
part from Latin-based languages, I'm pretty sure that no complex input
method is likely to work (for Indic, Thai, CJK, Khmer and probably

Improving this and having all complex input methods working during the
early installation phase is a post-etch issue.....which I'm not sure
we have an easy way to solve.

> BTW, my colleague has also reminded me about a package of Vietnamese  
> fonts which is GPL ! [1] It's called URWVN. How do we go about  
> including these fonts in the Vietnamese task? The fonts are available  
> in .tar.gz form, so would also need to be packaged. Shall I ask my  
> colleague to package them too (before he realizes how much work I'm  
> giving him and disappears :D ) ?

Well, here, you may get some help from the Fonts Packaging Team
(pkg-fonts-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org). Some of us already maintain
font packages for severa languages and maintaining one more woul dnot
be a big extra hassle.....or we could make the package officially
maintained by the team as a whole.

Just mail this list and point them (us...) to the place where these
fonts are available. Pointing to their license (ie checking that they
are really GPL) will help a lot.

> Again, it's a great pity I can't get a Debian-user co-translator. I  
> can't anticipate these problems, because my OS doesn't have them. :(

Well, sure. You need to convince the Vietnamese Linux community that
going more closely with Debian is The Way To Go. After all, they're
all committed to Free Software, so explaining them that working with
the Linux distribution that's the closest to the Free Software
movement philosophy is more or less the only choice if really
committed to free software...:-)

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