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Oops, I opened a can of worms... :-)

Javier Guerra wrote:
On Tuesday 23 November 2004 10:04 am, Asko Kauppi wrote:
The question with them, again, is where to draw the line.

Generally, me thinks, Win95 did a fairly useful localization (to
Finnish) but.. instead of just calling the user-visible thingy
'Työpöytä' (desktop) they _also_ made the directory name (which, imho,
is never even visible to the user) do the same.  With umlauts, well,
you can imagine the hell.. ;)

I imagine, even more when you go to the command line and type a Dos command in OEM charset...

There's a similar thing in Apple OS X, where certain folders (s.a.
Applications) do sometimes show up with their local names. Here,
however, the underlying Unix filename is always in English.

Apple has a nice separation between the user interface and the internal strings. even system folders that are identified by name can be safely translated, because there's an API to let the apps to find them by codes. For example, (in classic mac os), to get the 'preferences' folder, you call a function (named FindSysFolder or something like this) with a selector code of 'pref'. the system gives you the right folder, no matter if it's a translated system. In OS X, it's even more pervasive, with a full translation API, that lets every application register several sets of strings, and the user can change languages on the fly, without restarting. it's great when you share a machine with different people. (even if you don't use different user accounts)

It is annoying when you find a tip stating you will find your .mbox files in /user/xxx/Library/Mail (or something like that) and you only find on your system /utilisateur/xxx/Bibliothèque/Courrier (I made up these names...).

but the worst of all translations (for me, at least) is translating the programming language. remember, even if its based on english, it's not real english. when you use 'function' in Lua, you don't have to learn all the real meanings and uses of that word in english. you just learn to use that word in lua. even if you don't know a single word in english, it's just a very small datum extra to learn.

Somehow, it would make sense to make up abstract names, or to use synthetic language like Lobjan... Note that Perl is almost there, so is APL...

Of course, for native English speakers and those with some knowledge of the language, using "real" names (even gsub...) helps memorizing these keywords.

Philippe Lhoste
--  (near) Paris -- France
--  Professional programmer and amateur artist
--  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --