[syslinux] RFD: Internationalizing the menu system

BuraphaLinux Server buraphalinuxserver at gmail.com
Tue Jan 22 05:15:36 PST 2008


Here are my ideas.  Maybe it is all bad, but you did ask....

Our distribution is for Thai, and would very much like to have the
ability to display Thai.  The ability to display pre-rendered pictures
would be fine.  Instead of having a set size, why not just let the
picture specify the width and height in pixels of each menu item?
Then have a menu checker tool that does what vesamenu would do to
compute the menu total size of the menu.  If the menu won't fit on the
screen , the checker tool says 'no'.  If you allow something like:

label superos
   labelpic superos.pic
   kernel whatever

where superos.pic is the graphic file.  If the menu system really
cannot render the pic (file not found) it can fall back to the label
'superos' instead, and you could require 'superos' label is in ASCII.
Then you can use the same file for the normal menu and just ignore the
labelpic data too.

The superos.pic would have embedded in it the height and width of the
graphic.  I guess having a .png or whatever decoder is too much for
the system, but like now you have the tool to embed data in the
background image, you can have a converter from .png or whatever to
your .pic format you need.  Even 16 colors indexed would be enough I
think to make nice text.

With variable size pictures, you can handle easy fonts like English or
tough stuff like Thai by just changing the height of pictures as

I would love to test such a system for you ;-)


On 1/22/08, H. Peter Anvin <hpa at zytor.com> wrote:
> Lindgren Daniel wrote:
> >> I know quite a few people have interest in internationalizing
> >> the menu system.
> >>
> >> - First, how interesting is this to the user community?
> >
> > Well, being swedish, extended characters in the menu system would
> > certainly be welcome. I don't know much about how the simple menu system
> > works, perhaps a selectable character set is all that's required,
> > ISO-8859-1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8859-1) would do it for me.
> >
> You already have that (see the "font" configuration command.)
> Not to mention the default character set (cp437) includes all the
> Swedish characters.
> I'm more concerned at the moment with character sets that don't work too
> well with a 256-character monospaced font.
> 	-hpa
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