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Re: Automating of localizations

On Wednesday 29 October 2003 13:57, Tomohiro KUBOTA wrote:
> Hi,
> Please check whether language-env package meets your need.

Actually it does for many of my needs! 
Thanks for noting this, Debian has become so big it's difficult to 
keep track of everything...

> It prepares so-called "dot files" for a user who invoked
> a command "set-language-env".  Though I am the maintainer
> of the package, the concrete contents of dot files for each
> language are left to contributors.

I have already started creating the greek ('el') files.

> If the "configuration" can be done completely by dot files,
> I think you can use this package.

This is under discussion. If it's just the matter of changing the 
locale setting and having everything to work out, then yes. However, 
I have to change the linux console font, the keymap switching for the 
console and make some other necessary changes to the configuration 
files of X (namely the keyboard settings to allow changing keymap) 
and also for kde/gnome. For kde/gnome, these settings can be 
customized via a dot file. But for the other cases I would need to 
change the XFree86-4 file, and also some console configuration files 
(/etc/console-tools/config, /etc/inputrc, etc). And i don't want to 
tell the user to "do it him/herself").

> However, it cannot do system-wide configurations.
> It is because I think system-wide locale configuration is
> sometimes dangerous.  For example, there are no ways to
> configure Linux console to automatically support Japanese.
> Unconditionally setting LANG variable is dangerous in such
> a case, because Mojibake
> (http://www.debian.or.jp/~kubota/mojibake/) occurs.  Imagine if you
> are a root user and you cannot read some important message because
> of Mojibake.... (In Greek,
> please imagine reading a Greek document with Latin-1 font.)

> Of course there are languages for which system-wide setting
> is not so dangerous.  However, I am not interested in it
> unless someone contributes a working code.

Unfortunately, since it's not a just case of setting the LANG 
environment but a more complex process, I will have to do some 
meddling with the system wide files. For example, would you object if 
I contribute to your package a script that works only for greek 
locale and sets the system wide files for X and the console? Of 
course it would ask the user (debconf?) if he/she wants tampering his 
configuration files. 
Thankfully the process of setting the root console and X in greek in 
Debian is well tested and documented and not much of a deal anyway.
But it's user-unfriendly to ask the users to do this setting manually.

> I imagine Greek people can understand the concept of Mojibake.

only too well :-)

Konstantinos Margaritis
Consultant - IT Services
Debian Developer

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