[Mageia-discuss] Suggestions

Frank Griffin ftg at roadrunner.com
Mon Oct 25 19:51:43 CEST 2010

Michael Scherer wrote:
> So we need to find a better way.
> Better in two points :
> - better way to distribute it
> - better way to translate it
Maybe the problem is trying to use rpm as the management tool for

Long, long, ago I had to write an order processing system for an IBM
5100, which supported 2 languages - APL and Basic - both of which were
interpreted, meaning the source code had to fit into memory, which was 32K.

This made it virtually impossible to comment the code in any meaningful
way, since the comments took up memory needed for code.

What I finally settled upon was to tag blocks of code with a 4-or-5
character comment which was basically an index key into a typewritten
document which contained the program comments.  The same thing might
work here.

Change the rpm description to a database table partial key which
corresponds to the package.  Then set up a database table keyed by that
partial key plus a language ID, and place the description in that
language there.  Change tools which display package descriptions to use
the rpm value as a key into the database combined with the locale language.

This shifts the space requirement from the package rpm SPEC to the
database, and means that description maintainers can just have access to
the database rather than the source tree.  Since most uses of rpm don't
make use of the description, bandwidth for normal maintenance goes
down.  For things like the install, you include a copy of the database
on the media, or conditionally on the user's system for rpmdrake (much
as they get to choose between hdlist and synthesis today).

This would allow much more flexible queries, and would allow translators
to extract all descriptions in their own language as a single result
set, identify all packages which do not have a description in a given
language, and so forth. 

If the central database were managed by JEE/EJB with role-based security
tied to the new LDAP database, user maintenance would be fairly simple. 
Obviously, for use in captive form (e.g. in the install or on a user's
system), an extract in some other form would be used to avoid the need
for JEE.


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