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Re: automake and i18n

From: Guido Flohr
Subject: Re: automake and i18n
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 2003 19:53:22 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.3) Gecko/20030312


Akim Demaille wrote:
 > It is possible to do the internationalization in such a way, that
 > automake would still run without libintl-perl being installed.
 > License problems should not be an issue, libintl-perl is distributed
 > under the LGPL.  As for the required Perl version, Perl 5.004 is
 > sufficient for libintl-perl.

 > Comments?

Do you know any maintainer that does not know English?  In other
words, what's the use?  Will you translate the documentation too?

Why are other GNU developer packages like "make" or "gcc" internationalized? I cannot really answer you that question, but it wouldn't surprise me if somebody found it useful to internationalize the "make" utility.

What is the use of an internationalized automake? On Windows systems, dialog boxes like

        Do you really want to quit? [Oui|Non]

are always good for a laugh.  Is there a fundamental difference to this one?

        bash$ chmod 555 .
        bash$ LANG=fr_FR automake
        automake: cannot remove ./ Permission non accordée

I *do* know developers that do not unset $LANG, $LC_ALL and $LC_MESSAGES.

The GNU coding standards also say something about i18n. Please read the first paragraph of I do not make a fetish of such standards, but I have the impression that there is a relatively broad consens today on this particular point in the free software community.

As far as missing translations of documentation is concerned, the general answer is: Nobody volunteered to translate the docs yet. IMHO that is not a real argument against internationalization of the software.

These are my points, the decision is up to you. I will not yell for extra work again. ;-)


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