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Re: format use inquiry

From: Jean-Christophe Helary
Subject: Re: format use inquiry
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2017 10:35:20 +0900

> On Jul 2, 2017, at 0:43, Drew Adams <address@hidden> wrote:

> My mention of (the -P flag in CL) was essentially off-topic for your
> thread about localization.  (But it could still be
> somewhat on-topic for a thread about `format'.)

This thread happens to be about "format", as the title and original exchanges 

I was explicitly asking about a specific use of format in url creation that has 
no relation to l10n and got several replies ranging from "don't spell out the 
urls" to "do spell out the urls"...

After reviewing the whole emacs lisp code found in the distribution I found 
that no other files in the whole distribution used a format trick to add an "s" 
to "http" when creating "https" urls (especially *none* of the code that was 
heavily used for https etc.), and I also found that all the places where both 
http and https urls were present they were all fully spelled out.

So considering that even if the code is valid and considered acceptable, 1) 
general use of 40 years of elisp having not produced such distribution code and 
2) the package.el code being ridden with such "smart uses" of format/concat and 
the like that in fact created errors in external strings (I did not check the 
internal strings), the conclusion was that such code should be fixed so that 
other developers who check it don't get bad ideas. Unless you have more 
powerful arguments, that kind of settles the issue for me.

In a different thread I also mentioned that I started straightening out strings 
in package.el because I had found plural/singular errors in it fully *knowing* 
that i18n is not available so that any "micro" l10n preparation of this type is 
bound to not be super useful *right now*, but currently that's the only part 
where I can contribute (I put aside the few lines of trivial code that I was 
allowed to contribute in ns-win and subr-x).

What I want to reach is a state where Emacs is fully localizable. There are 
many entry points and few people interested in producing relevant code, so I 
have to do with what I have (no knowledge of C but I'm starting to work on 
that, little knowledge of elisp, 20 years of localization work as an amateur in 
FOSS projects, 15 as a professional).

Last June, Philipp Stephani has implemented "field numbers for `format' so that 
argument indices can be explicitly specified" to take care of word order 
modifications (among other issues). I don't think a lot of people have started 
using that but that's an excellent and necessary start. We need a way to 
gettext to extract external strings, we need a way to display localized 
strings, we need to straighten out strings so that they are extractable by 
gettext and we need to localize them (including docstrings eventually). l10n 
itself is a huge endeavor: based on the state of the manuals, I'm estimating 
the volume at 500,000 words for the code alone, and 2,000,000 words total when 
including the manual. So the code that allows for that is actually a relatively 
small part of the work. But without the code, we're stuck.

So if you have an interest in the endeavor and concrete ideas, please come 
forward: do as Philipp did by producing relevant code, or do as I do, by fixing 
little things that will need to be fixed anyway.


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