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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: How many languages will Apache OpenOffice support?
Date Sat, 17 Dec 2011 19:25:58 GMT

I think the language selections are for writing aids, not UI and Help internationalization.
 You might want several even though your UI is English, for example.  

If you look at the OOo-dev 3.4 beta release, you'll see that there is only a full release
(with Java JRE too, I suppose, on Windows) for English.  This will be an English UI plus writing
aids for a few flavors each of en, fr, and one for es.  All other languages, including any
UI internationalization, are via langpacks, one per listed language.  The langpack adds a
UI language and embedded help internationalizations, as available, and whatever writing aids
there are for that language, also as available.

For the supplemental Italian langpack install that I did as an experiment, when I select the
UI language to be Italian, the embedded help switches to Italian also.

The enumeration is here: <>.

I notice that LibreOffice 3.4 install for Windows-en includes the writing aids for just over
30 native languages.  (Sometimes variants are in separate sets, sometimes multiple variants
are in the same aid folder.)  The embedded help is a separate helppack download and install.
 It's true that the installed extensions take almost 200MB when extracted into the file system,
including non-writing-aid extensions that are included in the install.  

This does not answer your question about where the bar is on UI internationalization, but
it should make clear what a langpack can provide.  

One factor in packaging has to do with the size of full installs on Windows and a desire to
minimize the number of them.  I have no insight into that.  There are many variables that
factor into it.  It is undoubtedly not a one-size-fits-all, but having the volunteers to create
and verify many variations is an additional factor.  It might be a reasonable downstream business

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Bauer [] 
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2011 04:14
Subject: Re: How many languages will Apache OpenOffice support?

[ ... ]

Sorry if the questions is naive but can you define a langpack language? 
I never took part at that level with OOO. Are those languages without 
localized Help? Just a question (and i have no answer) but more and more 
software I get doesn't use in-product Help but refers you to a Wiki etc. 
Might it not make sense to consider making in-product Help optional and 
referring to a Help website for the most part?

Secondly, a more sensible, slimline install would certainly sound sense 
to me. It's been a while since I did the install but if I recall 
correctly, you actually download the English install with all the 
langpacks and then have to manually pick your language. Which is 
bonkers. If I've selected Tamil as my language of choice, then I don't 
need my bandwidth cluttered up with the other 50 languages. I should 
*only* get Tamil, with no further messing about. The full pack only 
makes sense if you're installing more than one language at the same time.

That to me would be the two most obvious ways of saving space and 
bandwidth, so

> - Move help and other things into a separate download file. - Reduce 
> the doubled data and libraries in the package files. - Improve the 
> installer to download langpacks that the user wants. - etc.

Amen to all of these!


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