Debtags localisation and font tags proposal

Erich Schubert erich.schubert at
Fri May 29 11:19:58 UTC 2009

Hello all,
Please don't forget that one of the design goals of DebTags was the
KISS principle.

> (iso639::sr
&& iso15924::Latn && iso15924::Cyrl && ! rfc4647::sr-Latn-SR)

this definitely doesn't qualify as KISS, in particular since this
would probably only apply to a single for within a package, and a
package may contain multiple fonts.

IMHO we should still try to keep Debtags at a "human readable"
complexity level (that is without deeper understanding of logics).
If for some particular use there is need for more detailed
specifications, these should probably be done in a different system
such as RDF.

Some examples easily expressable in RDF but not in current Debtags are:
imagemagick reads TrueType
imagemagick reads PNG
imagemagick writes PNG
that could be used to infer that maybe imagemagick can render a
truetype font into a PNG bitmap, but not the other way round.
RDF can also express things such as (note that I'm not bothering to
use a well-defined syntax)
  imagemagick converts (_ from JPEG, _ to PNG)

It does make sense to collect certain information in a more complex
format - in particular if the information can somewhat be
automatically obtained, e.g. a script could test packages for having
translated man pages etc. - and then derive certain tags from this
automatically. But I wouldn't push too much semantics and logic into

This is not meant to be an objection against the culture:: tag
reorganization. I do see the point, and all the variants have their
use. For example, an application such as "taxbird" clearly is relevant
to the german country as such, maybe even for english-speaking users
(if it has such a translation). So here the distinction by traditional
locales doesn't make much sense. The application is irrelevant for
people from switzerland, even when they are using de_CH locale (or
de_DE, for that matter).
For quite some time, the german translation of Firefox was going by
the name de_AT, and while it was primarily made with an austrian
background, it was still the most appropriate translation for german

One thing we should make a distinction here is:
- "Support" for languages/cultures/locales - e.g. the availability of
- "Limited use" to specific cultures/languages/coutries/locales - e.g.
the taxbird restriction for German tax declations

So e.g. "gnome-panel" has 'support' for 'German' (in particular
'de_DE'), but that doesn't mean it's of no use for a locale it doesn't
have translations for (yet)
Whereas "taxbird" might have 'support' for 'English' (probably what
should be 'en_DE' ...), but is of no use to people not having to do a
German tax declaration.

A package manager user should be able to specify something like "I
speak only English and rudimentary German, but since I'm currently
living in Germany, I need full cultural support for German culture,
too. Don't bother to install German language packs for applications
that have English translations, but please install culturally relevant
packages even when they are only available in German.".

best regards,
Erich Schubert

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