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Re: Do not touch l10n files

On Mon, May 19, 2003 at 10:38:47AM -0400, Theodore Ts'o wrote:

> The main problem here is support.  If uses e2fsck with NLS support
> enabled, and with a non-US locale, the messages will come out in their
> native language.  Which is all very well-and-good until they run into
> problems and they start asking me for help.  If it's in some language
> I don't speak, such as Swahili, I'm going to be very hard pressed to
> actually help them.

> E2fsprogs may be a special case in that why I get these cries for help
> (which mainly are of the form, "help me, I'm a loser, I didn't make
> backups, can you help me recover my 10 years of thesis research"),
> time is of the essence.  So waiting for a translation team to
> translate output back into English is not an option.

It seems to me this would be mitigated by two factors: 1) if they know
enough to realize they should be emailing you in English, they probably
realize they need to send the error messages in English too (by running
e2fsprogs in English if possible, or providing an impromptu translation
if not); 2) in single user mode, where I would expect most of the
time-critical support requests to originate, it requires a significant
amount of dedication to get a locale other than the C locale.

In practice, are you running into support requests where there is a
language barrier because of l10n of the e2fsprogs?

The VMS-style error codes occurred to me as well.  Though if one goes
that route, I wonder if gettext any longer has advantages over msgcat.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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