Re: Internationalizing Linux

Nix (
06 Dec 1998 12:51:11 +0000

Jes Sorensen <> writes:

> >>>>> "Drago" == Drago Goricanec <> writes:
> Drago> So is that why the old IBM mainframes tagged every system
> Drago> message with a unique identifier?
> Oh and everybody should have a 2000 page translation table on paper?

Why? grep is your friend.

> 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,

There is an internationalisation project underway; most GNU packages
support localisation nowadays (the biggest that doesn't being
gcc/egcs, and internationalising that is on the agenda - admittedly,
some way away from `now'). Look up the xgettext package.

> C is using English.

The ISO C Standard does mandate an awful lot of what is basically
variant English, yes. I doubt this will change soon :)

> 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

Again, grep or the tags system can do this in seconds. This is a
non-issue. What is an issue is people posting error message in
character sets you cannot decode, so you can't search for the message
in the internationalisation headers at all :(

`Anyone who says you can have a lot of widely dispersed people hack
 away on a complicated piece of code and avoid total anarchy has never
 managed a software project.' - Andy Tanenbaum in 1992 on comp.os.minix

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