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Re: Emacs i18n

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Emacs i18n
Date: Wed, 06 Mar 2019 19:30:31 +0200

> From: Juri Linkov <address@hidden>
> Cc: Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden>,  address@hidden,  address@hidden
> Date: Tue, 05 Mar 2019 23:58:25 +0200
> One of the main decisions that has to be made is whether to wrap all
> user-facing translatable strings in all Lisp files using a macro/function
> 'gettext' (alias '_') explicitly like is implemented in XEmacs' I18N3
> that would help to extract translations from the source code, or to use
> a low-level implicit translation without changing the existing code like
> is implemented for handling text-quoting-style in format strings.
> The latter will even allow translation of strings that a package author
> forgot to mark with '_'.

I'd encourage people who want or consider working on this to read past
discussions about related topics.  Some very important conclusions and
ideas came out of those discussions, and it would be a pity if we'd
need to reiterate all of what was already said and argued time and
again, instead of starting from where those past discussions ended.

Significant discussions of this happened in Dec 2001, in July 2007,
and lately in Apr 2017.  Some of those are quite long, but please do
read them, even if you were part of those discussions.  This current
discussion will be much more fruitful if we first recollect what we
already talked over.

> Depending on this decision a translation file format has to be selected,
> be it flat Gettext PO format files or even some YAML-like hierarchical
> Lisp structures with scopes.

The first alternative we should consider is to use the PO format,
because that's what translation teams out there are used to work with.
If it turns out that we cannot use the PO format for some good reasons
(which will have to be very good), we can consider other formats, but
translation teams will be in general very unhappy about that.

And I think these technicalities are not the first, let alone main,
decisions we must make.  They are important, but there are more
important and complex problems we need to address first.  I will talk
about this separately.


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