The system is working but came with an example for german rather than French.

Running LuaLaTeX... SUCCESS
Running TeXindy... FAILURE

Presumably because I blindly edited

- identifier: german
  flag: <arara> @{isTrue(parameters.german,"-g")} 


- identifier: french                                                                                             
  flag: <arara> @{isTrue(parameters.french,"-fr")}

taking the -fr flag from the manual.

What's the correct version?


You shouldn't be modifying the .yaml files. The .yaml file defines the available options that are listed in the {...} part and indicates what switches they should implement when invoking the particular application.

- identifier: german
  flag: <arara> @{isTrue(parameters.german,"-g")} 

That looks like it's from the makeindex.yaml file. The german identifier is provided to add the -g switch to makeindex's argument list. If you want it on, you add the following in your document:

% arara: makeindex: {german: on}

This means that arara will run the command makeindex -g basename.idx.

If you don't want it on then just do

% arara: makeindex

which will just run the command makeindex basename.idx. Makeindex doesn't have any other language switches.

It looks as though you actually want texindy rather than makeindex. In this case, texindy needs use the -L switch followed by the language name (which must be one that's supported by xindy). The actual command invocation is texindy -L french basename.idx. The texindy.yaml rule provides the language identifier to implement the -L switch.

For example:

% arara: texindy: {language: french}

and you may also need to added the encoding:

% arara: texindy: {language: french, codepage: utf8}

which changes the command invocation to texindy -L french -C utf8 basename.idx.

The texindy.yaml rule provides the most commonly used options as identifiers. Any additional options can be added with the general purpose options. So an equivalent of the above is:

% arara: texindy: {options: [-L, french, -C, utf8]}

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