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Re: php and locales


At Wed, 9 Jan 2002 10:40:28 +0100,
Gaetano Paolone wrote:

> 1) has the original gettext source code to be written in english?
>    The software I am working on is not in english and so
>    it will generate a po in another language (italian).
>    I can manage to make the english po file (translating it) but I am sure
>    that it would be much more easy to translate this software
>    in russian starting from the english version rather than
>    from the italian one. But you know, the upstream version
>    is in italian so HAS it to be in english or not?
>    Has the upstream author the need to change all the code in english
>    or would it be a "good suggestion"?

You can write any language (or even any unreadable symbols)
for "gettext source code", from programming point of view.
However, the source code _must_ be written in ASCII character
set!  Otherwise, po files for multibyte languages cannot be
edited safely (easily be broken).  You know, ASCII includes 
94 printable characters (and whitespace).  It doesn't
include any accented alphabets (for example, u with umlaut,
c with cedilla, n with tilde, and so on) or Greek, Cyrillic,
Hebrew, Kanji, Arab letters.  Especially, ISO-8859-1 (Latin-1)
people tend to confuse ASCII and Latin-1.  _Never_ use Latin-1.
Using ASCII is a mandatory.

For translators' point of view, the "gettext source code"
should be written in English because translators translate
the "gettext source code" into target languages.  If
"gettext souce code" were written in a language which
the translator doesn't know (for example, Japanese),
the translator has to consult en.po file.  This is a pain,
though it is not impossible.

In short, (1) use ASCII character set, this is mandatory,
(2) use English, this is should, but I imagine that English
is the only language which can fully expressed using ASCII
character set.

Tomohiro KUBOTA <kubota@debian.org>
"Introduction to I18N"  http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/intro-i18n/

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