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Re: [RFA/RFC] extract strings from m4 skeletons

From: Paolo Bonzini
Subject: Re: [RFA/RFC] extract strings from m4 skeletons
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 14:24:15 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (Macintosh/20061207)

In the other case, instead of saying "%define variable `foo'" we have to
say `%define foo'" to make the translator's life easier.  The
problematic case occurred in bison.m4, but I did the same change to the
wording in parse-gram.y too, for consistency.

Is there no way to expand macros or whatever during your extraction, so
that the nicer "%%code qualifier `%s' not used" message ends up in the
strings file?  I'm slightly concerned we're losing the extra 'variable'
and 'qualifier' words from messages here, which may make them less

I think it's a matter of personal judgement, as usual. First of all, for the translator there is no difference: it does *not* make the localizable strings harder to grok. Previously it was "%s `%s' not used", now it is "`%s %s' not used". Stuff within quotes is usually not a translatable term, s gaving the two %s's within the quotes is reassuring to the translator. Instead, if they see a %s outside quotes they have to look at the source and understand what are the possible replacements for the %s. Then they have to find a shape for the translated sentence that fits them all.

The important point is whether it is worse for the user. To me, "%define variable `%s' not used" is more readable than "`%define %s' not used". But on the other hand, "`%code %s' not used" is more readable than "%code qualifier `%s' not used". It's the whole section that ended up being unused, the reference to the qualifier seem spurious to me. If I have to choose one format only, I'd go for the one that is used after the patch.


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