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Re: Fwd: [i18n] Input Method and Fonts improvements for Gutsy

On Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 11:26:08AM +0100, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 10:33:09PM -0500, Ming Hua wrote:
> > On Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 09:05:20AM +0200, Christian Perrier wrote:
> > > Quoting Daniel Glassey (wdg@debian.org):
> > > > Hi,
> > > > I think it would be good to discuss this with Debian folks at well to
> > > > share their expertise and I think these issues should be addressed for
> > > > lenny as well.
> > > 
> > > And, given that this highly involves packages beings installed by
> > > default, this should be discussed with the D-I team as such default
> > > installations should be handled by tasksel in Debian.
> > > 
> > > (please note that Ubuntu does not use tasksel and, therefore,
> > > solutions suitable for Ubuntu will, there, not be suitable for Debian
> > > and vice-versa)
> > 
> > Since Debian doesn't have the constraint of the main/universe
> > separation, Debian can use a very different approach than Ubuntu's.  And
> > AFAIK, on CJK front, etch already has a rather good input method support
> > in default desktop task installation.
> Ubuntu does in fact use tasks, though they aren't presented to the user by
> default in the installer, as in Debian.  I'm curious why you feel that the
> distinction between main and universe is an issue here.

Oh, I didn't know that Ubuntu also uses tasks.  But I think most Ubuntu
installation use language-support packages instead of tasks to install
input methods anyway.

My understanding (which may be wrong) is that all language-support
packages in Ubuntu are main packages, and therefore all their
dependencies are also main packages.  I think this also makes Ubuntu
developers want to minimize the number/size of supported (does supported
seed equal to main?) packages, leading to the decision of using SCIM for
input method support for all languages.  However, as I wrote, it may not
be optimal from a user's point of view.

In Debian, however, tasks can depend on (include? -- since missing
dependency in tasks in not fatal) input method packages as long as they
are in the archive, without going through the "main inclusion process"
as they need to do in Ubuntu.  So many tasks include more than one input
method packages, and quite some of them don't use scim at all.  As
im-switch is essentially an alternative system, users can then use
im-switch to choose the input method he/she prefers.  I doubt Ubuntu
will be willing to support multiple input method packages.

SCIM doesn't have the best support for all languages, its biggest
advantage is multi-language support.  SCIM also has its own shortcomings,
the most infamous one being causing crash in GTK+ applications linked to
libstdc++5 [1,2,3], which means firefox from mozilla.org, Adobe
acroread, ATi proprietary video driver, etc.  For users only using one
language (or English and another language only), they have many reasons
to prefer another input method.  Debian's task system can support this
easily.  Ubuntu's language-support package system doesn't seem to be
supporting this now, and I don't feel it will support this unless there
are significant changes in the way input method packages are
developed/tested and in the main inclusion process.

1. http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=323216
2. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/scim/+bug/2246
3. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/scim/+bug/80551


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