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Revision 29 as of 2005-04-26 06:15:00
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Comment: bof notes
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 * Status: DraftSpecification, DistroSpecification, UduBof, HighPriority  * Status: DraftSpec, DistroSpecification, UduBof, HighPriority




This specification describes our strategies to allow for the effective branding of Ubuntu and derivatives. Some branding can be attained without affecting packages, other branding initiatives will require derivatives to rebuild or even modify and rebuild packages. We will also refer to aspects of Rosetta that should affect distro branding.


Scope and Use Cases

  • Provide for branding or neutralization, as appropriate, of the following components:
    • CD
      • Boot loader splash image
      • Boot loader text
    • Installer
      • Debconf templates
      • Package selection
      • Help texts
      • Dialogs
    • Express Installer (UbuntuExpress)

      • Artwork (Logos, images..)
      • Help texts
      • Dialogs
    • Live CD
      • "Starting Ubuntu..."
    • Base
      • Archive keyring?
      • Debconf templates?
      • lsb-release? (hard)
    • Boot
      • USplash image
      • "Starting Ubuntu..."
      • Grub menu entry
      • Grub theme
    • Application defaults
      • GDM theme
      • Splash graphic
      • Default wallpaper
      • Default browser homepage
      • Default browser bookmarks
      • Gnome/Kde theme
      • Menu
      • Apps on "Add/Remove programs"
      • Icons on panel and desktop
      • "About Ubuntu..." (System Menu)
    • Others
      • Debootstrap script

Implementation Plan

  • We have discussed several approaches to branding, and in which cases they are useful:
    • The Rosetta team has done some initial work to mark branded strings
    1. Neutralizing strings
      • The simplest case to handle, and requires no effort to re-brand for each derivative
      • We should apply this technique wherever possible
    2. Runtime substitution
      • Appropriate for simple circumstances (e.g., Apache version string, Mozilla version string)
      • Can use lsb_release, and have a reasonable chance of having the code passed upstream
      • Add liblsb to provide the functionality of lsb_release as a library and use it for identification strings.

    3. Refactoring
      • Collect brand data into central locations
      • Works well for artwork
      • Works well for gconf configuration data
    4. Build-time branding
      • There are hard problems to be solved in the packaging system and in Launchpad before we can manage a separate build for every derivative
      • This isn't achievable for Breezy, so for the near term we must avoid it entirely
    5. Branding human-readable strings
      • Upstream software hardly uses distro-specific branding, so we can deal with that on a by-case basis.
      • Most branding applies to debconf templates, debian-installer is the only package that really needs branding (other packages should be neutralized).
      • Most of the installer branding can be neutralized.
      • For the remaining cases, we have two (nonexclusive) options:
        • Translate the remaining few cases manually to properly catch Linguistic issues (plurals, genders, tenses, etc.). This would require additional complexity and effort in order to avoid duplicating work across distributions which target the same languages.
        • Try to catch the most common cases with a global macro (debconf already supports per-package macro substitution).
        • Use special-case macros, but since they have to be maintained somehow, this could create more problems than it solves.
      • Human-readable strings must be translated, so retranslation is required after branding them
      • Try to neutralize where possible instead

Outstanding Issues

UDU BOF Agenda

  • Runtime branding, build-time branding and package-selection branding
    • Which approach is most suitable for each requirement?
    • Can we avoid build-time branding entirely? It causes big infrastructure problems
  • Branded CD builds
  • Debconf branding
  • Refactoring desktop branding
    • gconf schemas, etc. (<dist>-branding)

    • artwork (<dist>-artwork)

UDU Pre-Work

UbuntuDownUnder/BOFs/BrandingForDerivatives (last edited 2008-08-06 16:23:24 by localhost)