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Re: Bug#228486: Apology to german users required in the release notes

On Tue, Aug 31, 2004 at 01:33:00PM -0700, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
Are you just trying to make it as difficult as possible to solve the

No, I'm aghast that the concept of including an *apology* in the release
notes for a typographical ugliness is being given any consideration at
all. Talking about solutions is fine, but singling something like this
out for an apology is ludicrous.

English quotation marks have never looked good.  But the German ones,
with the most natural German locale, are now looking *worse than they
used to*.  It's one thing to say "it's not as good as it could be",
but when you insist that it's ok to *make things worse* on the grounds
that English is already sucky, you aren't going to win points.

Personally, *I don't care* what quotes are used in german, since I'm
unlikely to ever use a german locale. The purpose of bringing up the
english example is to demonstrate that people *can* and *do* live with
stupid looking quotes. I'd far prefer a solution where everyone is
happy, but running around like headless chickens proclaiming the end of
the world and demanding apologies because quotation marks look stupid
is, well, silly.

Nor is this about winning points.

No, it's not. It's about being a little more reasonable when demanding
changes. Sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you don't.
Marshal your arguments and do something productive. At this point it
looks like focusing attention upstream is going to be more productive
than continuing with gotom. Alternatively, someone could try the TC
route. Either way it's too late for sarge, but that *really isn't* the
end of the world.

I get the feeling that you wish those annoying furriners would go away
with their funny marks and quaint obscure languages.  But Debian has
already decided we are going to support non-English languages as well
as we can, and it is inappropriate for you to attempt to subvert that
for whatever reason.

It is inappropriate (and, frankly, offensive) for you to make insuations
about my motives.
Some background: the logic behind using ,," isn't that ,," is commonly
used as a quote in german any more than `' or ``'' is commonly used as a
quote in english.  The logic is that the computer screen (and printed
output) should try to *look* like the original quote even if the current
locale doesn't have an appropriate glyph to represent the quotation
mark. Personally I think that's a damn stupid idea, but arguments about
,," not being a standard quotation mark completely miss the point of
what is being done and why. I'd like to see a rational debate about the
overall goals of transliterating quotes, but the chances of that seem
remote in the current context. The bottom line isn't that this isn't
some conspiracy to foist some non-standard quote off on germans, this is
simply a difference in goals and expectations.

The German l10n team gets to decide how German localization happens,
not you, and not me.

So you should butt out too, right? Take your high horse with you.

It's sadly too late to get a fix into sarge (and it's a shame that the
Debian glibc maintainers acted like jerks about it).

I've had my own problems in that area, but *I didn't demand a damned
apology in the release notes*.

I hesitate to tell people to use UTF-8 because full multibyte compliance
isn't guaranteed in sarge.

How about we publish your home phone number so that they can complain
to you directly?  "If you don't like the way German quotes work in
Debian, then call Michael Stone at XXX-XXX-XXXX."  If you're right
that this is a trivial issue which nobody will care about, you should
be happy with that solution, right?

Don't be an ass. I replied with a real technical reason why you might
not want hordes of people switching to UTF-8 and you suggest *that* as a
reasonable response? I had thought better of you.

Mike Stone

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