Language chooser at login

Oliver Grawert ogra at
Mon Jul 4 12:14:18 UTC 2011

Am Montag, den 04.07.2011, 11:11 +0100 schrieb Matthew Paul Thomas:
> >> I haven't heard of any standard user requirements to switch between 
> >> more than two languages, or two languages that do not include English
> >> (please post here if you know of any).
> >
> > well, just some of these environments ubuntu has traditionally been
> > big in ... :)
> > 
> > ... pretty much every environment edubuntu is used in (public desktops
> > in school classrooms at universities or libraries), non personalized
> > computers in multilingual companies, public computers at airports,
> > hotels, internet cafes etc
> As I understand it, those environments use either a guest session, or a
> single non-admin user account with no password.
> GDM in Ubuntu does not let you choose the language when logging in to a
> guest session. <>
> Nor does it let you choose the language when logging in to an account
> with no password. <>
> So if those are the use cases, then GDM's language selection is
> perfectly useless: it lets you choose a language only when you don't
> need to.
thats indeed pretty bad, so these bugs should be bumped in priority and
get fixed then :)

> >> There are disadvantages to keeping this feature:
> >> - This feature is quite complex to support.
> >> - By having this feature both in the login screen and in the control
> >> center we are duplicating functionality but providing an inconsistent
> >> method of configuring it.
> >
> > why not drop it from the control center then ? keep the configuration
> > at the login screen and move langpack installation into software
> > center where it belongs ?
> Even if it was true that language pack installation "belongs" in USC
> (which it isn't), that would be irrelevant. Imagine a computer on which
> every language pack is installed. People would still need to switch from
> one language to another.
well, i could imagine a "languages" category in USC ... just seems
logical to me to put it there.

as i said above, switching from one lang to another (or even more
important switching to the appropriate kbd setup for that language)
could stay in the login manager. 

> >> - Users can accidentally change it, giving an opportunity to make
> >> their session unusable. 
> >
> > many users in the above listed environments wont be multilingual, how
> > would such a user be supposed to find out how to change the language
> > somewhere in the control center if he/she cant even read the text on
> > desktop elements ? such users would be provided with an unusable
> > session by default.
> >...
> That is a good point, but for the reasons mentioned above, they have
> that problem right now anyway. Putting System Settings in the launcher
> by default will help. Using a large icon layout (like System Settings
> does) instead of a menu with tiny icons (like the old Preferences menu)
> will help too. That reduces the problem to learning, or guessing, two
> large icons.
since we redesign the display manager UI from scratch, it shouldnt be a
problem to implement shiny big icon selection lists there either... with
all bells and whistles you can imagine and with extra points for
switching the UI language of the login manager itself on the fly at
selection time (we do it in other places alredy (like i.e. ubiquity
currently, or gdm a few releases ago before upstream dropped that
feature)) ...

my 75 year old mother doesnt know what "Username" or "Login" mean ...
she does understand what it means if its in a language she speaks



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