Tag Archives: Ubuntu

The disadvantege of language packs in Ubuntu

I’ve encounterd a bug in launchpad about adding a new gnucash translation to the Hebrew language pack. Nothing out of the ordinary excepts that for every upstream translation update you should file a bug to update the language pack.

A new Hebrew tranlation was released in version 2.2.6 as part of the upstream release. In Debian the new translation appeared with the sources, but in Ubuntu, the translation is lost since it’s not in Rosetta.

As I see it, such translations are falling between the chairs, since upstream won’t check the distribution for each translations, and the users don’t check upstream’s changelog for translation changes (and only major translation changes appear on the changelog).

Another issue, the the need for Ubuntu to duplicate translation into Rosseta, although they come only from upstream (like in this case). I seems to me as a waste of time, and something that only creates problems. After such an import you can easy find an old transation ships in parallel to newer sources. What happens if many strings changes in the source ? You get many strings in English…

8 Comments

Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, i18n & l10n, QA stuff, Ubuntu

Ubuntu’s reportbug-ng sends bug reports to Debian’s BTS

I checked the Debian firefox bugs page and noticed a new bug was reported against firefox. Checking the bug report showed the bug is new as it reported against version 3.0b5. As there’s now firefox package in debian testing/unstable that was weired enough.

Reading the bug report revealed these details:

Package: firefox
Version: 3.0~b5+nobinonly-0ubuntu3

and

Debian Release: lenny/sid
500 hardy-updates us.archive.ubuntu.com
500 hardy-security security.ubuntu.com
500 hardy us.archive.ubuntu.com

I mailed the user to see why does he reports Ubuntu’s bugs to Debian. He replied that he’s using the reportbug-ng program and wasn’t aware that his bug have been sent to Debian.

I check the reportbug and reportbug-ng in Ubuntu and found that reportbug has the needed patch for Ubuntu:

diff -pruN 3.39/reportbug.conf 3.39ubuntu3/reportbug.conf
--- 3.39/reportbug.conf 2004-12-06 13:59:04.000000000 +0000
+++ 3.39ubuntu3/reportbug.conf 2007-10-25 07:22:47.000000000 +0100
@@ -6,7 +6,7 @@
# severity normal

# BTS to use
-#bts debian
+bts ubuntu
# See ‘reportbug –bts help’ for a current list of supported BTSes

# Submission address: default is ‘submit’

but since hardy reportbug-ng package in Ubuntu is identical to the one in Debian.

$ rmadison -u ubuntu reportbug-ng
reportbug-ng | 0.2007.10.30~feisty1 | feisty-backports/universe | source, all
reportbug-ng | 0.2007.06.27 | gutsy/universe | source, amd64, i386, powerpc
reportbug-ng | 0.2007.10.30~gutsy1 | gutsy-backports/universe | source, all
reportbug-ng | 0.2007.10.30 | hardy/universe | source, all
reportbug-ng | 0.2008.03.28 | intrepid/universe | source, all

Doing more checks reveals that this is a known problem in Ubuntu and is already reported at Bug #175508. This was also discussed three weeks ago on “Ubuntu Open Week – Reporting Bugs“.

A quick look at the reportbug-ng code makes it clear that reportbug-ng will require more work to support the Ubuntu BTS. There were also some comments about the configuration for Ubuntu in reportbug, as it just send the reports to ubuntu-users mailing list and not to the real BTS at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/.

I’m still not sure what to do about the bug. On one hand, that package originates in Debian, and the bug is probably relevant. On the other hand, the cause might be a change from Ubuntu. In any case, I
don’t see the user following our BTS, and I don’t way to fixed package (if and when created) to propagate to Ubuntu.

5 Comments

Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, QA stuff, Ubuntu

What can Debian learn from Fedora about recruiting new people?

I’ve been visiting the fedora website in the last couple of days. One thing caught my interest, and that’s the “join Fedora” link just bellow the “get Fedora” one.

I clicked on it and got to this very simple “Join Fedora” page. The appealing part is the large icons which roughly lists the main ways to contribute to Fedora:

  • Content Writer
  • Designer
  • People Person
  • OS Developer
  • Translator
  • Web Developer or Administrator

Clicking etch icon gives you a description of relevant skills, related teams and typical tasks of this role. This is very useful for people not sure about what can they do or where exactly their skills are needed.

On the Debian’s website we have a “help debian” page which lists very similar functions the user can help with. The difference is that we list them at text which is less appealing than the Fedora’s icons. Fedora does have similar text to Debian, but it is organized into roles instead of suggesting everything to everyone.

I also think there’s a semantic difference with the term help and join. To me joining a project sounds more strong than helping it. Probably because joining something makes you a part of it, while helping does not. Although in the end both term have the exact same meaning in for the project themselves – users getting involved.

Openoffice.org has a big “I want to participate in openoffice.org” text in their font page, which like Fedora leads to a set of defined roles. Same thing in Ubuntu with their “Get Involved” page. It is important that each role page will have links the to tools people need in order to start contribute.

I don’t have the required graphical skills to do such icons, but I’m willing to create/edit the pages on the Debian website. I’ll be happy to hear comments before I approach the debian-www people.

6 Comments

Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Fedora, Openoffice.org

Why does Ubuntu puts Firefox transalation in gnome’s language pack ? (2)

A day after presenting the question, seems like a user got a problem I didn’t thought of. He didn’t like Firefox 3 and decided to install Firefox 2 instead.

The problem is that he now has Firefox 2 and the translation for Firefox 3 (from the GNOME package). Same problem occurs with the Hebrew interface… The solution is to manually delete the Firefox 3 files, and than install the mozilla-firefox-locale-he-il package.

Don’t forget that this should be done on every update of the language-pack-gnome-he-base package (or any other language than Hebrew)! So who’s in favor of splitting the Firefox 3 translation to another package ?

3 Comments

Filed under i18n & l10n, Mozilla, Ubuntu

Why does Ubuntu puts Firefox transalation in gnome’s language pack ?

The other day, Tomer from Mozilla Israel contacted me to update me that the Israeli Ubuntu community changes the Firefox translation and doesn’t contribute the changes back. We sorted out the translation process with the Ubuntu people who were very open for comments.

After that, Tomer mentioned he sees the changed translation in Hardy. I searched for the mozilla-firefox-locale-he-il with the right version, but it seems that package is still for Firefox 2.

I checked the firefox-3.0 package itself to make sure the translations aren’t there, and indeed it only contains the en_US locale. Tomer told me he still sees the Hebrew translation but “dpkg -l | grep firefox” doesn’t give up any other related packages.

Tomer started to search his file system for the missing files, and I started to check out packages’ contents trough packages.ubuntu.com (well, I don’t run Ubuntu…). The files were found, and it seems they are part of the language-pack-gnome-he-base package.

This sound very odd to me:

  1. Why link between GNOME and Firefox? (and while doing so, leaving out Tunderbird)
  2. What about people running Kubuntu? They probably won’t have GNOME installed.
  3. The package description says that it doesn’t include the Mozilla translations:

    Please note that you should install language-support-he to get full support for this language (spell checkers, OpenOffice and Mozilla locale packages, etc.).

  4. This change creates an broken upgrade path so it doesn’t support people upgrading from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3 in Ubuntu keeping their locale, as the firefox locale package doesn’t get updated, and doesn’t pull the new package.
  5. These packages were introduced about 1 week before the Hardy release. I would expect such a change be done in an earlier stage of the release…

I thought about starting to report bugs about a few of these issues, but it would be better to first hear what other people think about this.

14 Comments

Filed under i18n & l10n, Mozilla, Ubuntu

Ubuntu and the lack of Thunderbird Hebrew localization

Almost a year ago Ubuntu uploaded thunderbird-locales for Thunderbird 2.0.0.0. As the Hebrew localization wasn’t ready then, they dropped the hebrew l10n package & files.

During the last year Mozilla released more localizations for Thunderbird, but it doesn’t seem Ubuntu updated their package since the initial upload. In the same period Debian (thanks to Daniel Baumann) has added 5 more languages (some are unofficial localizations), including Hebrew.

The Israeli Mozilla team is quite annoyed by Ubuntu users which (rightfully) want a “native” support for Hebrew as opposed to installing the xpi file themselves. Same for users which upgrade from feisty to newer versions and discover the support isn’t available any more.

Officially, the bug report is open for 3 weeks. But like Tomer, I do too remember an older report about this issue. I do hope to see the issue solved, as I’m (as a member of the debian-hebrew team) also getting questions about the package.

So, Ubuntu people – please help us get the long waited Hebrew localization for Thunderbird…

8 Comments

Filed under i18n & l10n, Mozilla, Ubuntu