language/locale selector [was: Re: Settings downstream would reasonably want to add]

Hello Matthias, Dave, 

Matthias Clasen [2011-05-13  8:33 -0400]:
> >  * Language Selector, which allows you to configure your language and
> >   fallbacks ($LANGUAGE/$LC_MESSAGES), locale ($LANG), list of
> >   installed languages (packages which provide translations,
> >   dictionaries, OO.o help, etc.), and input method.This can probably
> >   be integrated into the now existing GNOME 3 module.
> Language selection is in the region panel, and the plan is indeed to
> have input method configuration integrated there as well.
> Unfortunately, we lack a person with the necessary skills and
> knowledge to really drive this, currently. Cooperation in this area
> would be highly appreciated.

I am not quite happy about some parts of the current Ubuntu language
selector UI, so we want to make some changes anyway. It got quite a
bit more complex over the years due to user demands in some regions of
the world (like separate LC_MESSAGES and LANG setting), as well as
integration of extra package installation (language specific word
lists, hyphenation patterns, spell check dicts, etc.). If at least
some of these features are desired to have in upstream c-c, I'd be
happy to discuss the design with Dave and/or c-c maintainers (not in
this thread though, please) and then work on an implementation, and
then we can provide the rest of it (like packaging integration) as an
Ubuntu patch. If we stop having a separate package for this, I'm of
course interested in keeping the latter relatively small.

> >  * system-config-printer: We decided to continue to use that
> > instead   of the GNOME 3 c-c one. s-c-p is a lot more complete and
> > proven.
> Hmm; this is an example of the pick-and-match mindset that pits
> downstreams against upstreams. Can't we cooperate on making the
> printer panel good enough for everybody ?

I don't see a reason why it wouldn't be technically possible. However,
it will take quite some time until all the missing features will be
added to the new GNOME printer applet, and unlike the locale selector
I won't have time to help with this particular item; I guess this
would be a question for Tim Waugh and Till Kamppeter. My gut feeling
is that it is certainly technically possible and desirable, but will
take some time, and until then we'd rather not break printing for
everyone (we can switch over when it's ready).

Reinventing the wheel and breaking old behaviour is sometimes good.
GNOME shell or Unity are such cases which deliberately break old
workflows and behaviour for something better. That's not the same for
configuring your hardware, though, which should just work and breaking
it willfully is not something we are willing to do to our users.

If you consider that as a pick-and-match mindset, then we are
certainly "guilty" of that; it's what a distro (or generally anyone
building a product) does. I do agree that this isn't an ideal
situation in this case, but I frankly don't see another realistic

Anyway, thanks everyone for their input, and enjoy the weekend!


Martin Pitt                        |
Ubuntu Developer (  | Debian Developer  (

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