/usr/sbin/update-language-def: line 779: printf: missing unicode digit for \u

Bug #775546 reported by Matthias Andree
This bug affects 20 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
tex-common (Debian)
Fix Released
tex-common (Ubuntu)
Fix Released

Bug Description

Binary package hint: tex-common

Running anything that involves update-language-def reports a programming error due to a missing escape for a backslash (\) character. The line in question prints a TeX command, \uselanguage {USenglish}, where the backslash needs to be escaped (1) for the shell and (2) for the printf, so we need a quadruple backslash. It should read

# for language.def we have to select the right language at the end
if [ "$HYPHENMODE" = "etex" ] ; then
    printf "
${PCC}${PCC}${PCC} No changes may be made beyond this point.

\\\\uselanguage {USenglish} ${PCC}${PCC}${PCC} This MUST be the last li
ne of the file.
" >> "$tempfile"

instead of what we have now. Currently, we get these errors when update-language-def gets run as part of some tex package configuration:

/usr/sbin/update-language-def: Zeile 779: printf: missing unicode digit for \u

It is not clear to me if all affected tex packages need updating.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: tex-common 2.09
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.35-28.50-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.35-28-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: fglrx
Architecture: amd64
Date: Mon May 2 14:46:26 2011
PackageArchitecture: all
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: tex-common
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to natty on 2011-05-02 (0 days ago)

Revision history for this message
Matthias Andree (matthias-andree) wrote :
description: updated
Revision history for this message
ceg (ceg) wrote :

I am seeing the error.

What consequence does it have?

Revision history for this message
ceg (ceg) wrote :

Confirming that adding those tree backslashes (\) near the end of /usr/sbin/update-language-def fixed it.

Revision history for this message
ceg (ceg) wrote :

Well, made that error message go away, since I don't know what else might be affected.

Changed in tex-common (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Matthias Andree (matthias-andree) wrote :

No technical consequences currently, but scared users from the log and console spam (it happens dozens of times if you have a decent tex setup during a dist-upgrade):

Note: if later shell and/or printf(1) versions have a different approach to deal with such \u that might then produce unintended results.

Revision history for this message
paranaense (tuliouel) wrote :

This is how my firefox is behaving after havving this bug: see the attachment.
I added the 3 "\\\" to the file and then executed dpkg-reconfigure tex-common
I stiil have the problem here.
Nothing works to fix it in my browser.
I started having this issue after installing packages like git-core libncurses5 libncurses5-dev libelf-dev asciidoc binutils-dev crash kexec-tools makedumpfile kernel-wedge
Several tex packages came with these and suddenly my browser was messed up after readding those error messages about missing unicode digit.

Revision history for this message
Daniel Richard G. (skunk) wrote :

@paranaense, whatever is wrong with your copy of firefox, it has nothing to do with your TeX installation, nor this bug. Please file a bug report against the firefox package.

Anyway, Steve Langasek has reported this issue to Debian, which appears to be the upstream maintainer.

Revision history for this message
Maxim Doucet (maximdoucet) wrote :

Personnaly it had consequences for me: I upgraded from 10.10 to 11.04 and during the dpkg configuration part (so at the the end of the upgrade process), this update-language-def error blocked the whole upgrade process.

Even launching manually "sudo dpkg-reconfigure -au" would stop on whatever package is using update-language-def. Hopefully thanks to the escaping character solution given here I was able to fix it.

But in conclusion, at least in my case, this bug was a critical blocker.

Revision history for this message
Maxim Doucet (maximdoucet) wrote :

Wait, my conclusion was too early. Please forget my last comment.

I will check if my upgrading problem really came from this bug or not and will report if it is the case. If I don't reply, just consider my last comment as irrelevant.

Changed in tex-common (Debian):
status: Unknown → Fix Released
Revision history for this message
Micah Gersten (micahg) wrote :

This was fixed in oneiric with tex-common 2.10

Changed in tex-common (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
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