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Re: Please improve the wording of the translatable messages

On 6/4/06, Eddy Petrişor <eddy.petrisor@gmail.com> wrote:
On 6/4/06, Eddy Petrişor <eddy.petrisor@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello all,
> Yes, indeed, this is a mail regarding the recurrent problem of badly
> written error messages in dpkg.
> Similar strings which are not merged, although they should be:
> --remove needs a single argument
> --remove needs one arguments
> Note also the error in the second message  (this will need unfuzzification)
> "You need --help."
> "You need --help"

"%s: can't backup old %s, giving up: %s"
"cannot backup old %s, giving up: %s"

"open %s: %s"
"failed to open %s: %s"

"slave link name %s duplicated"
"slave link %s duplicated"
"slave name %s duplicated"
are these supposed to be the same thing? no? not even a couple of them?

"unable to install %s as %s"
"unable to install %s as %s: %s"
"unable to install `%.250s' as `%.250s'" - from src/configure.c
These could be paired, I think (looking at the code) (will aslo
provide more info ;-)

Copyright (C) 1995 Ian Jackson.\n
Copyright (C) 2000,2001 Wichert Akkerman.
Copyright (C) 1995 Ian Jackson.\n
Copyright (C) 2000-2002 Wichert Akkerman.
I know these are different, but the format could be similar so it is
easier to have fuzzy translations automatically fed in.

> All messages like:
> --remove needs a single argument
> --add needs a single argument
> --remove needs a single argument
> --truename needs a single argument

--altdir needs a <directory> argument
--admindir needs a <directory> argument

"failed to open %s: %s" and "open %s: %s"
all similar groups (there is one for remove)

Oh, let's not forget, the longer and more verbose version is the
prefered version.

> could be compressed as "--%s needs a single argument", like it was
> done in the C code parts of dpkg.
> Way too spartan messages to be understood (I looked at the code and
> couldn't understand how they should have been translated as, until I
> realised the format was "operation that was attempted: error string")
> rename: remove duplicate old link `%s': %s
> error checking `%s': %s
> close diversions-new: %s
> remove old diversions-old: %s
> ... and many others.
> First person talk, it should be impersonal talk:
> "%s: failed to install %s; I'll leave it as %s: %s"
> Comments missing badly:
> "read %s: %s" - is this present or past form
> "close %s after read: %s" - this needs badly an explanation.


> I understand these strings just became translatable due to fixing of
> #165843, but still there is room for improvement.

"but --force specified so lets ignore it." is not in impersonal form,
it sould be, imho, "but --force specified so will be ignored."

Also, I fear that in some languages the split phrase is untranslatable
or might impose some weird difficulties, as it is now (this is not
true for Romanian, so I can't tell for sure).

Also, breaking the --help messages into a few strings (like it was
done for dpkg C code) would be beneficial for translators (the first
three lines are the same, while changes willl be easier to follow):

These are common already
Usage: %s [<option> ...] <command>\n
 --help                   show this help message.\n
 --version                show the version.\n

Probably the --quiet option is encountered again in some other places.

Also I remember the help messages from the other dpkg strings had the
first letter of the first word in each explanation capitalised and
always a full stop at the end of each explanation.

I guess that's about it, for now.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" A.Einstein

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