Re: Internationalizing Linux

Tymm Twillman (
Fri, 4 Dec 1998 16:10:18 -0600

So now we require anyone who writes a device driver/module/etc to put a
unique identifier for every string that they print out? We have enough
trouble with device numbering... Maybe eventually things can be made much
more standard across drivers so that all drivers of a type will present
information in the same way so that something like this can be done;
multiple language support is a great idea in theory, but I just don't see
it happening yet.


> On Fri, Dec 04, 1998 at 11:52:17AM +0900, Drago Goricanec wrote:
> > On 03 Dec 1998 16:25:16 +0100, Jes Sorensen writes:
> > > Oh and how to you expect kernel hackers to be able to help debug a
> > > problem when someone posts dmesg output in Chinese to linux-kernel?
> >
> > So is that why the old IBM mainframes tagged every system message with
> > a unique identifier?
> And it's a very good idea. If you want to create tools which parse your
> logs, you probably don't want to scan for multiple languages ...
> > > We've had this discussion before, about a year ago I think, forget it
> > > once and for all, please.
> >
> > I think having messages appear in the sysadmin's native language has
> > merit. The front line for Linux support is moving away from this
> > list.
> >
> > Once messages permeate back to this list, they can be converted back
> > to English just as the original message was converted originally to
> > the native language.
> Which is much harder for the sysadmin than understanding the meaning of an
> english message.
> I'd suggest the following: Add numbers to the printk messages and leave the
> english as it is.
> printk ("<4> [00002] Calibrating delay loop ... [] 12.32 BogoMIPS");
> (We don't want userspace tools to translate these numbers into english.
> Think of installation or boot problems.) You can create a userspace tool to
> pick up these numbers, to remove the english text and put the native
> language text instead. [00002] would be translated into "Kalibriere
> Verzoegerungsschleife ..." (german, in my native language) and [] would not
> be translated.
> klogd would normally (option) just strip these [00002] and [] messages, but
> with a plugin module for translation it will remove the english text and put
> the text delivered by the translator instead. There are grammar problems for
> some languages with such an approach, however.
> I'm very satisfied with kernel messages in english. And I'm rather annoyed
> to have the glibc display perrors in german: When programming my own little
> tools, I create error messages this way:
> if (errno)
> fprintf (stderr, "tool: Can't open file \"foo\": %s\n", strerror(errnor));
> which results in bilingual messages.
> Regards,
> --
> Kurt Garloff <> (Dortmund, FRG)
> PGP key on
> Microsoft gives you Windows, Linux gives you the whole house
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