Un-asked-for-language support

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Thu Nov 26 08:39:41 UTC 2009

On Wed, 2009-11-25 at 22:55 -0500, Richard Ryniker wrote:
> If the goal is to separate locale-dependent data from packages that now
> contain data for multiple locales, it seems reasonable in many cases to
> combine locale-dependent data from multiple packages into single, new,
> locale-data packages.
> Some arithmetic...
> If there are 5000 packages with locale-dependent data, and 100 locales,
> creation of individual, new, locale-specific packages could produce
> 500,000 new packages - the explosion that rightly concerns Mr. Sundaram.
> Of course, all those 5000 packages might not have data for all 100
> locales, but any significant fraction of 500,000 is a nightmare.
> A different approach would be more manageable: combine locale-dependent
> data for many packages into one locale_data package.  In the minimum
> case, this would result in only 100 new packages, each one containing
> data for one locale from all 5000 original packages.
> A more practical scheme would probably group those 5000 packages into a
> small number of categories (perhaps aligned with translation group,
> distribution organization, etc.).  There would then be a small_number *
> 100 new packages, instead of a Million Package March.
> Organization of packages in this way makes addition of a new locale
> straightforward: just install the package (or small number of packages)
> for the desired locale.
> Is this worth doing?  I don't know.  If enough people see the goal (a
> system contains data only for the desired locales) as worthwhile, they
> can do this for a small set of packages to learn what problems may
> manifest and what techniques are efficient to manage the data.  If a
> standard, easy technology is developed, package authors or maintainers
> may be willing to move locale-dependent data out of their packages.

Then we have the problem of 'I don't want all this data in my language
for packages I don't have installed' rather than 'I don't want all this
data in someone else's language for packages I do have installed'.
Doesn't seem like a significant win, to me.

Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org

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