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Debian in China

The following is an IRC discussion about the state of Debian in China.  
Ideas, comments and contributions are welcome... talk to Anthony.


Anthony == foka@d.o
CQ == me

<Anthony> One of the more pressing problems, is that Debian is not too 
   in China, and some users report problems getting it.  I recommend at least
   potato, but the CDs they are selling or have on servers are 2.0 and 2.1r4.
<Anthony> Although some users report good connection to ftp.jp.debian.org.
<Anthony> So, yeah, this is one of the topic-du-jour on debian-chinese.  :-)
<CQ> Anthony: what do you mean by problems getting it?  getting disks, or
   mirrors even?
<Anthony> CQ: Getting disks probably isn't a problem.  Getting mirrors is. 
   There are probably 3 sites or so that carries Debian in China, but all 
   have is the CD image of 2.1, nothing else.
<CQ> Anthony: so they don't have the disk space or the BW to mirror 
<Anthony> CQ: In contrast, there are at least 3 mirrors in each of HK and 
   At least 1 in HK is full and complete, and 2 in Taiwan.
<Anthony> CQ: I guess not.  It is probably due to the fact that Debian isn't
   too popular in Mainland China yet, and the free software FTP archives
   haven't got the disk space to carry the whole Debian.
<CQ> Anthony: would it be worth it to try to get them up to date, or why do
   you think debian is not so popular in china?
<Anthony> CQ: Yes, that would be wonderful.  :-)  I'm discussing with some
   Mainland Chinese users to discuss ways to remedy the problem.  At least 
   users volunteers to help burn and distribute potato CD-ROMs.
<CQ> Anthony: I don't know how import regulations work, but I'm sure we could
   find someone in the US or Europe who could (say, monthly) burn and send a
   complete CD set...
<Anthony> CQ: Reasons: Slow connection to US (although more people are
   discovering jp.debian.org), poor Chinese support in 2.0/2.1, mirrors not
   carrying potato/woody, lack of promotion, etc.
<Anthony> CQ: Yes, that's one of the ideas suggested.  I would like to do it
   when I am employed (i.e. not now...), but if someone is willing to donate,
   that would be wunderbar.  :-)  And once that is done, perhaps some places
   could use that as a base and start providing an up-to-date mirror.
<CQ> Anthony: if you can ask around about who could use the CD sets, I'll see
   if I can get someone to do it regularly.
<CQ> What could be done in terms of publicity?  Also, how is the chinese
   support in Potato?
<Anthony> (I'm thinking of places like freesoft.cei.gov.cn... Will have to
   talk to them though... Perhaps a donation of a large hard drive could
   convince them to provide a full Debian mirror.  At least, that would give
   Debian a better presence too.  :-)
<Anthony> CQ: Good question.  I've been thinking about that.  For publicity,
   some Chinese users have volunteered to work on promotion.  Someone has
   started a Debian Alliance of China, although his site isn't visited by too
   many people.
<Anthony> Anthony: As for Chinese support, Potato is much better than slink,
   although still some ways to catch up to CLE and TurboLinux Chinese, etc. 
   Still lack a full Chinese installation interface, and some often-used
   software like lyx not supporting Chinese yet, etc.
<Anthony> CQ: As for Chinese support, Potato is much better than slink,
   although still some ways to catch up to CLE and TurboLinux Chinese, etc. 
   Still lack a full Chinese installation interface, and some often-used
   software like lyx not supporting Chinese yet, etc.
<Anthony> (Hmm.. why was I talking to myself?  ;-)
<Anthony> CQ: Also, it would be nice to have a blurb "bragging" Debian's
   continually improving Chinese support in the Debian 2.2 press release.  
   perhaps as a separate press-released specifically targetted for Chinese
<CQ> Anthony: so why not start talking to people on debian-publicity on how 
   promote it over there?  We have material floating around...
<CQ> Anthony: if there are any major milestones in the chinese development we
   can announce that separately if you think it would help
<Anthony> CQ: That's a good idea!  :-)  I hadn't thought of that  (I forgot
   about debian-publicity.)  Lemme subscribe to that.  :-)
<CQ> Anthony: it's been really quiet in teh last few months... check out
   http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/~rgmerk/prespage.html for some info material
<Anthony> CQ: Yes, thanks to i18n/L10n efforts in X, glibc, gtk, gnome, etc.,
   and to the donated TTF Chinese font, and 10+ more new Chinese packages
   since slink, Potato has most of the infrastructure in place.  The 
   work are mostly refinement and L10n, and further i18n of individual
<Anthony> CQ: Thanks!  That's a great idea!  I'll pass the info to the
   debian-chinese people.
<Anthony> CQ: Oh, another minor problem: None of the Mainland Chinese new
   developers have been accepted yet, i.e. there still isn't any official
   Debian developers in China, nor in Taiwan.
<Anthony> CQ: Hope it will be resolved soon.
<CQ> Anthony: take a look at the post I put to d-news yesterday; if you have
   similar information about the chinese development we can release it like
<Anthony> CQ: You mean embdebian?  :-)
<CQ> yeah... if there is information like that about the debian chinese
   development somewhere we can put together an informational post
<Anthony> CQ: Yes, we'll put together a write-up soon.  :-)
<Anthony> CQ: BTW, could you post in both English and Chinese?  :-)
<CQ> Anthony: no... the list language is english, but on the web page we post
   translations if someone does them.
Anthony> CQ: Okay.  :-)
<CQ> Plus, I'm having problems with my Chinese these days :)
* CQ looks at the last few pages of IRC text and wonders if Anthony has an
   automatic Smiley Generator
<Anthony> CQ: Thanks for the reminder.  It has become a second-nature to me,
   so sometimes I forgot not to type the smileys.
<CQ> Anthony: mind if I dump our discussion to d-publicity?  Some others may
   have ideas/want to work on it
<Anthony> CQ: That's a wonderful idea!  Yes, please do!  :-)

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