Re: Internationalizing Linux

Bruce Korb (
Fri, 04 Dec 1998 08:22:49 -0800

Jes Sorensen wrote:
> Oh and everybody should have a 2000 page translation table on paper?

Well, actually, if I ever get my proposal completed, then
the system events are stored as data without formatting strings
at all. The console display program does the formatting.
Your console display program will, presumably, contain the
format strings of your favorite language. See? Simple. ;-)
Panics, excepted, of course. I must keep saying that.

> Drago> I think having messages appear in the sysadmin's native
> Drago> language has merit. The front line for Linux support is moving
> Drago> away from this list.
> I really can't see the point here, all the commands on the system are
> in english anyway, C is using English. If you don't understand the
> basic English terms used by a computer, how can you adminitrate them.

Or administer them. I think one of the goals is to have Linux
ultimately be "everyman's" desktop os. Or, of being capable of
being such. For it to ever be so, the system messages about the
status of hardware and software need to be in native tongue so
the user can talk intelligently to the administrator without
requiring the services of a translator. I think, anyway.

> Drago> Once messages permeate back to this list, they can be converted
> Drago> back to English just as the original message was converted
> Drago> originally to the native language.
> Sorry but I am not going to waste my time trying to decode error
> messages from my own code just because someone wants to print it in
> a different language.

No. But if a tarball of the syslog came back and your console display
program could format it in English, would that be better?
The encoded tarball would be far smaller than the text, anyway.

Besides all that, the strings get removed from the kernel,
making it smaller and more suited to embedded applications :)

Bruce Korb                   | Data Design Systems, Inc.
Korb at DataDesign dot com   | 45 Cabot Dr., Suite 110
Voice:  408-260-0280         | Santa Clara,  CA   95051
Fax:    408-260-0281         | USA

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