Guidelines for style and language use in debconf templates

The ?SmithReviewProject has developed a number of guidelines for use of language and style in debconf templates during its work. They are recorded here partly to aid maintainers when writing templates, and partly for a checklist that can be used by the reviewers.

It should be noted that English style and language varies greatly, and there is no body that draws up a list or rules that should be followed. This is especially true of technical writing where many of the conventions are still being created. English is also a very idiosyncratic language, and so some parts of it may seem a little strange or illogical.

If you would like to discus any of these items, or you would like advice on use of English in Debian packaging or elsewhere in the project please contact the debian-l10n-english team at




Common mistakes

Speakers of some languages make some common mistakes when using the English language. Some of them are listed here to try and help you to avoid them. The list should be kept to things that are clearly wrong, rather than style issues, and should only included those things that appear to be common due to differences in particular languages.