Getting translation packages installed automagically

Arne Goetje arne.goetje at
Wed Sep 23 19:31:26 BST 2009

Hi list,

as you might know, we have a number of translation related packages for
a given language in addition to the regular language-packs. For example:
language-pack-gnome-*, language-pack-kde-*, thunderbird-locale-*,*, etc..
These additional packages should only be installed when the user also
has the main packages installed for which the translations make sense.
The functionality to detect this and mark the additional packages for
installation is currently in language-selector.
That means, we currently have the situation that a user needs to run
language-selector manually in order to get full language support installed.

A related bug report for this is here:

I have created a command line tool as part of language-selector, which
does the check for missing packages, so it's not necessary to run the
full gnome-language-selector for this task.

The code is here: lp:~arnegoetje/language-selector/language-selector-karmic

The tool is called 'check-language-support' and can optionally take the
argument -l, followed by a language-code (e.g. es_US, fi, zh-hant,
ca_ES at valencia)
It returns a list of missing packages, separated by space.
If no language argument is given, the code will check for all already
installed language-packs or those which are marked as to be installed
and return the list of missing packages for all languages on the system.

The idea is, that the installer runs this tool if network connectivity
is available before the packages are actually installed, parses the
output of 'check-language-support -l TARGET_LANGUAGE_CODE' and mark
those packages for installation. Then the user will get a fully
localized system right from the start.

If no network connectivity was available at install time, or the user
upgraded from an earlier Ubuntu release, update-manager/software-store
should install the missing packages.
Also, when a user adds packages to his system, which come with
additional localization packages, the localization packages should be
pulled automatically for the languages the user has installed on his system.

Now, I'd like to ask for your feedback on how to implement this.


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