Automating of localizations
[Please forgive me for cc'ing to all these addresses, but as you will
see I had no choice]
First, I would like to announce that Debian as been chosen by the
Greek Government as the official linux distribution, to be
used/proposed in schools, the public sector and perhaps SMEs.
Since I am the only developer in this country I took the role of
organizing the process of localizing/organizing the existing
localization process in order to have a proper and usable system
translated in greek.
The goal is this: Use the existing Debian base (NO fork of a new
distro) but commit the necessary changes (translations, etc) back to
Debian in a way that enriches the distribution and helps the
situation of localizations for other languages as well.
However, due to the nature of the greek language (and other
languages that do not use the latin alphabet, eg cyrillic), some
further changes have to be made to ensure that the system is ready
for use after the installation. For example, since it will be used in
schools by young students, we want to avoid telling them to edit
configuration files of X to enable writing in greek.
So, we have to automate the process of the localization based on
the configured locale of the system. The main targets are: console
keymap, X, KDE, GNOME. That is, after installation of these packages,
if the locale is set appropriately (LANG=el_GR), they should be
automatically configured to support the greek language (reading &
I have come to the following alternatives:
* Modify the existing postinst scripts of the base packages affected
(console-tools, kdebase, gnome-core (?), xserver-xfree86 ) to detect
the presense of the greek locale and present the user with a question
to configure the localization (keyboard, etc). Not my favourite
* Create a metapackage (autolocale) that depends on all the above
packages and automatically configure the localization settings.
Actually this might be used by other languages, there's nothing in
the process that excludes automation of the localization process for
eg. cyrillic or japanese.
This should detect the locale and present the user with questions
"The el_GR locale setting has been detected, would you like to enable
support for greek keyboards for the console/X/KDE/GNOME?"
I believe the second option would be better but in this case there is
the case of actually installing the package, ie declaring as one of
the base (?) packages for the installation. And what happens if
someone does not want to install gnome or KDE or even X, but would
like support for the console? Multiple autolocale packages? Dynamic
autolocale dependencies? Suggesting/Recommending instead of depending
the other packages?
I would appreciate some feedback esp from the maintainers of the