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Re: Accessing a message catalog independently of the system locales

From: Sylvain Beucler
Subject: Re: Accessing a message catalog independently of the system locales
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2010 16:45:35 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

Hi Bruno,

On Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 03:39:01PM +0200, Bruno Haible wrote:
> Hi Sylvain,
> If you initialize only the LC_MESSAGES category and not the LC_CTYPE
> category, on glibc systems, non-ASCII characters are transliterated to
> ASCII. Which doesn't look very decent for Chinese characters, for example...

AFAICS the 'bind_textdomain_codeset' call fixes this, too.

> > I think it would be nice to still translate the message strings when
> > the requested locale is not installed.
> It would violate POSIX. The glibc developers decided against it.


> For some distros it's as simple as launching the package installer,
> selecting the "language support" package for language XY, and clicking OK.

Under windows it works directly for simple cases, but yes, it
eventually comes down to this.  Except that under windows, you need to
pay for the language pack :p

Well, I guess that if I want to provide a one-click way to select the
game language, I can embed .mo parsing in the application.

Or detect the missing locale and warn the user.

Or wait until all distros pre-install all locale definitions :)

> > (Btw, Debian has a 'locales-all' package now, with all locales
> > pre-generated, but that's fairly recent, not installed by default, and
> > I don't know about other distros / Unices, so I'm not sure that's a
> > good-enough work-around.)
> On openSUSE, which has a long tradition of desktop support and of
> internationalization (it originated in Germany), over 400 locales are
> installed by default:
>   $ locale -a | wc -l
>   442
> Debian's culture is more focused on hackers, not desktop users. And
> it has the principle to install the minimum amount of files. That
> explains the difference, I think.

Hmm, what a good troll :)

- http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-desktop/
- ubuntu> locale -a | wc -l

Nevertheless openSUSE and locales-all are good to see.

> > Does it means that Windows essentially have all locales for all
> > languages pre-installed (or created on request)?
> True for some locale (those which don't require extra encodings or fonts).
> For CJK locales, the user has to install them explicitly.

Also, AFAICS, strings are translated unless the system meets an
unsupported character, in which case the translation is skept for that
string.  This resulted in a partial Vietnamese translation for my

Thanks also for your other answers that I didn't quote, I appreciated
them much.


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