internationalization of the linux kernel

Roger Espel Llima (
Sun, 6 Dec 1998 23:52:28 +0100

xervavi Gerd Knorr lio ro mailing-list i linux-kernel:

> >o There needs to be some standard message identifier if
> > this is going to go at all.
> No. Have a look at gettext, it uses the english message
> as key. You don't have to modify the kernel at all,
> you don't have to reinvent the wheel, and you can start
> hacking a translating dmesg tool today.

That makes some sense: have the kernel print out messages in the some
form like "arg1,arg2 ... : message with %s for arg insertion", and then
hack klogd to use the message itself as a key to search a catalog,
possibly reordering the arguments for some messages in some languages,
and display the translated thing. The default English version can just
do an sprintf and display the results.

The main problem I see with this is that any messages displayed before
klogd runs (i.e the whole boot sequence) would still be in English,
which could still turn off a number of non-English-speaking users.

> >It needn't be. Because the maintainer or programmer or
> >developer who actually writes the important stuff that
> >gets the job done would just write the messages as a
> >unique code (based on...?), and include in a separate
> >file the messages in his own language.
> It will not work IMHO. Becauce many of the developers
> will not accept it.

And they don't need to; indexing by text message is easier on the
developpers, and the only kernel changes needed are in the printk
function itself (take out the actual sprintf-ing if klogd is active),
not in every call.

Or am I missing something?

Roger Espel Llima,

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