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bug#26621: hint for translators is missing from POT file, but is opaque

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: bug#26621: hint for translators is missing from POT file, but is opaque anyhow
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:38:07 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.8.0

Benno Schulenberg wrote:
Fourth, the first part of the comment begins with this:

     The instances of "s" in the following formats are
     the SI symbol "s" (meaning second), and should not be translated.

Why should they not be translated?  In order to avoid problems
with grammatical congruence in languages like Polish?

Yes. This is part of the SI standard. SI abbreviations are supposed to be identical in all languages, regardless of grammar issues.

It would be nicer to use a fixed number of
decimals so that the message doesn't unnecessarily "jump".

Yes, and since the messages you're talking about are supposed to come out once a second, dd should just omit everything after the decimal point.

Sixth, the format string uses %g, which means that the
number of seconds will be displayed in exponential form
when the number becomes very large.  Is that intentional?

Yes, it's been that way since that code was introduced in 2004 (before status=progress was added). The idea I had back then was that we want more than 1 digit when transfer times are short, and that we needn't bother with lots of digits when transfer times are long. I've never heard of a real-world situation where the exponential notation actually gets used (more than 11 days for the transfer, if I calculate aright) so the issue is to some extent academic.

Thanks for your other comments. I installed the attached patch, which I hope addresses them.

Attachment: 0001-dd-status-progress-outputs-6-s-not-6.00001-s.patch
Description: Text Data

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