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Re: Good CJK distro

On Tue, 28 Nov 2000, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

> >>>>> "Jake" == Jake Morrison <> writes:
>     Jake> Can anyone recommend a Linux distribution that handles
>     Jake> Chinese, Japanese and Korean well?
> If you're serious about all three ....

For better or worse, yes :-). I mostly need Chinese, but
I am using Japanese more and more. And I also support
customers in Korea, so it would be nice to get that too.

> None that are better than any others AFAIK.  Turbolinux does a lot of
> Asian localization, but multilingual is hard, and TL has been known to
> intentionally break I18N to get a slightly slicker Japanese locale.
> My recommendation is to forget about your Linux distribution and learn
> to live inside Emacs/Mule for the next year or two.

The ever popular "Emacs as operating system" solution :-)

> By then KDE and GNOME will probably both be pretty well
> internationalized, and it won't matter which distro you use.

Seems like KDE2 is coming along, what with the underlying Unicode
support in Qt. It is just a question of stability - you can select
a wide character font in the Konsole, but it promptly crashes :-(.

>     Jake> Is Debian any better?
> Yes and no.  Debian mainstream is better in the sense that they don't
> patch things to achieve better localization.  So if you can do some
> hacking of your own, you're less likely to find that the distro has
> already closed off all retreat into sanity.
> Unfortunately, there still is no sanity in Japanese; to get a
> glibc-compatible Japanese locale, you need glibc 2.2, which is only
> available in the unstable distro.  I don't recommend Debian unstable
> right now if you have work to get done; they just upped glibc to 2.2 a
> few weeks ago and X11 to XFree86 4.0.1 a few days ago, and nothing
> works quite right.  I'm rebooting several times a day just to clear
> the kernel's earwax out, so to speak.  (I am running a 2.4 kernel,
> which probably makes life much less simple.  Still, I wasn't having
> problems with anything except my SCSI scanner until the last updates
> of glibc and XF86
> You may be able to use some stuff out of the debian-jp distro to get
> Japanese to work, that stuff is not part of the Debian mainstream for
> a reason.  Namely, it will almost certainly hose your Chinese and
> Korean.

I would just like to have fully functional web browsing (e.g., ability to
see localized text on buttons, ability to enter data), text editing and
the ability to use some console-mode applications. And I am starting to
localize some Qt apps I have written. So I can get useful work done even
if only parts of the system are working.

I don't have that much time after hours to play with things (too
busy learning Japanese), but I would like to do my part to getting
things working properly instead of just complaining.

I could probably switch my office machine over to Debian unstable,
just as long is it was still usable for development work and
didn't crash too often (nobody belives my uptime claims anyway :-).

Is "unstable" likely to become more stable in the near future?
What's the easiest way to get it installed? Is it possible to
upgrade from 2.2?


Jacob MORRISON                    Sr. Consultant
Syntegra,  Asia Region            E-mail:
6/F, 131 Nanking E. Rd., Sec. 3   Voice:  886-2-2715-2222 x217
Taipei, Taiwan      104           Fax:    886-2-2712-9197
The future has arrived, it's just not evenly distributed. - William Gibson

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