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Re: About dpkg translation, please consider i18n when choosing words

Scott James Remnant wrote:

> I think it's important that the English messages in dpkg
> be good, clear English.

I agree with you on that, but I would like to remind you
that the message-ids technically are POSIX/C and not

> I do not believe that this should be sacrificed for the
> sake of making it easier for non-English speakers --
> that's what the entire i18n effort is for, providing those
> people with their own native language version.

No.  But if translators don't understand the message-ids, it
seems very likely that the same will be the case for the

> So in effect, I agree that "X is not a clear English
> message" is a valid bug; and I agree that "this string is
> incomplete, and not translatable" is a valid bug (cf.
> "unable to %s"); but I do not agree that "I can't
> translate this because I don't understand the English" is
> a bug -- that's what dictionaries are for.

Agreed.  But translators who are not very strong in English
may occasionally mistake "X is not a clear English message"
for "I can't translate this because I don't understand the

> Correct, it's a syscall.  This error is reporting the
> failure of a syscall, so has to use the name of the
> syscall that failed, obviously.

In the version whoever will try to fix the error gets, yes.  
In the version the user gets, no.  System calls don't mean
anything to users (unless they also happen to be
developers). - But this is a more complicated problem to
solve.  Basically a program should report such an error with
one - translatable - message for non-programmers and with
another - fixed - message for developers.  The former
message should remind the users to include the latter in the
bug report.

»A corollary of Murphy's law is that duplicate information
 eventually becomes different information.  Putting both in
 the same file may slow down the process, but it will not
 prevent it.«                                 -- Wes Groleau

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