Debian Weekly News - email

Subject: Re: this all this xxx-jp nonsense (was: Re: ITP: grep-ja)
From: Taketoshi Sano <>
Date: 01 Sep 1999 05:22:05 +0900

Hi. I am a member of Debian and Debian JP.

In article <> (Atsuhito Kohda) writes:

> tcsh was soon adopt my proposal and now we can use tcsh-kanji
> with KANJI support and recently xfig also became of I18N.
> (To tell the truth, xfig was done mainly by Sano san :)

No, I don't think so. History is:

Oneday, I found that Roland Rosenfeld <>,
the current maintainer of xfig Debian Package, wrote in his changelog.Debian:

  xfig (1:3.2.2-7) unstable; urgency=low

    * New Debian maintainer.
    * Added ja_JP.ujis app-defaults which enable -international (Closes #34799).
    * Made documentation also available with LANG=ja_JP.ujis.

So I felt that he will accept our request for japanese language support,
then contacted him and introduced the upstream maintainer for japanese
language support (T.sato) and his unofficial patches.

And Roland did excellent work to merge that patches into his package.
Now I can use xfig with japanese language support perfectly using
his official debian package. Thanks to him.

I think the credit for this (Debian official package of xfig supports
usage with japanese language perfectly) should go to Roland, not me.

It was the only 2 lines in his changelog, but it was a sign from him for me.

Probably I (and maybe other members in JP Project) have tendency of
thinking too pessimistically about japanese language support in existing
Debian package.

Historically, most of (or all in several years ago) Linux Distributions
does not have enough support for japanese language to be used in practical.

SLS, Slackware, Red Hat, etc. They are all insufficient by itself to
use in practical environment in average Japanese users.

Our elder UNIX developers worked on enhancement for japanese language
support on many Unix/X softwares. and our elder Linux developers create
"JE" packages to use with existing Linux distributions (in the beggining,
the targets are SLS and Yggdrasil, then Slackware, and later Red Hat).

I started to use Linux with Slackware and JE. Many Linux Users in Japan
still use them now (although JE is replaced with PJE).

So, many Linux users in Japan are accustomed to the existence of "*-ja"
packages, because "JE" packages had been important to use Linux practically.

And we have been accustomed to the attitude that "Upstreams have not
responded for our request. we'd better make our separate packages
than rely on hopeless request to upstreams".

Sure, it IS bad custom. We should get rid of this pessimistic tendency.
At least, we all believe in "Debian is Open". I know many Debian member
encourage us to cooperate in order to make Debian more usable for users
all over the world. (It's "Universal" OS)

We, Debian JP Project, announced at May on this year, that
"We decide NOT to release anymore JP add-on packages".

Before this announcement, there were hard discussions in JP Project.

I am relatively new in Debian JP Project as well as Debian Project,
but I heard that Debian JP Project started with the intention of
"Make Debian Popular in Japan", and "Make Debian more excellent
to be used in practical environment for Japanese users".
So we have done what we think we should. The release of "JP Packages"
was a means of introduce Debian to more people in Japan. At the time
of first release, there were very little magazines and books with
Debian CDs sold in Japan. After the release of "hamm-jp", books began
to be sold and much more magazines began to distribute Debian with
JP Packages.

But, as we wrote at,

     * The aim of the Debian JP Project is to make popular the Debian
       Distribution ("Debian") developed in Debian Project and provided
       by SPI (Software for Public Interest) in Japan. Currently, the
       members of Debian JP Project are working in following fields:

          + To enhance Debian's support for Japanese language (and to
            help Debian to be more internationalized), We, Debian JP
            Project, will contribute packages created by our own (JP)
            package maintainers to Debian Project. (see Developers'
            We wish to choice the best aproach to contribute the
            packages, taking account of the conditions of each package
            for depends, conflicts, and suggests. We are thinking about
            contribution of the patches to enable more excellent Japanese
            (and other multibyte characters) support for existing Debian
            Package as well as contribution of the whole new packages.

This is the original "Project Target" in Debian JP Project.

And we found that the continuation of the release of JP Packages
would not work well "to enhance Debian's support for Japanese language",
so we choose to stop the "official" release of our JP Packages.

After the above "NO release" announcement, some users stops to use
Debian because they believe that without "*-ja" packages they can't
use Linux successfully.

We believe that coming potato will have necessary support for
Japanese language, and that people will be accustomed to the idea
that Debian does not need separate "JP Packages" anymore when they
see the potato working well enough to be used in real life.

Maybe we are in a hurry too much. If the Debian members think that
we, Debian JP Project, should release our JP Packages until the Debian
have fully enough support for Japanese language throughout the long
and time consuming process, then we should re-think about it.

I do NOT have objection about the direction from the leader as a member
in Debian, and I agree with Adam Di Carlo. We should respect "upstream".

I am sorry about ITP of jvim without contact to Wichert,
ITP of gs-ja without contact to Marco Pistore,
and ITP of mh-ja without contact to Edward Brocklesby.

Now I have followed the advice from him and Vincent,
already canceled ITP of gs-ja, and file the bug with the URL of
required patch. Now Marco is working at merge that patch. Thanks to him :)

And I will file the patch for sgml-tools as I wrote on debian-sgml list.
If Stephane Bortzmeyer agrees, I wish to file the request to include
yasgml.el in sgml-tools (v1) package, because it IS used now by people.

More, today I found that Edward wrote that he will merge the MH-JP patch
into his mh package. Thanks to him also. I will file the bug to his mh package.

If the Debian official package of mh (or nmh) have enough support
for Japanese Language, we do not need my mh-ja package anymore,
and I wish to orphan and remove that package from both of Debian and Debian JP.

And jvim. I think the right way is to contribute patches to upstream vim
maintainer, and another member of Debian JP Project, Morimura Teruyuki,
took the management of "vim-jp" ml and developers in that ml are working
to create patch for current vim. I have heard those patches are now
contributed to vim's upstream. and I think when the original vim have
enough support for Japanese Language, We do not need the jvim package
and I wish to orphan and remove that package (same above).

I think, as a board member in Debian JP Project, Debian JP Project
should become a supporter of Debian in Japan. Now it's upload-que "jp"
is used by official Debian maintainer who is not Debian JP member.
and some member in JP Project cooperate the www team in Debian to
translate Web Site into Japanese Language. We provide a mailing list
for Debian users in Japan to communicate with Japanese Language
without consuming the resource of Debian.

Please tell us, the Debian JP Project, about your idea to cooperate
better with the Debian Project.


  Taketoshi Sano: <>,<>,<>