[etoys-dev] Re: [squeak-dev] Localization for Squeak products

Andreas Raab andreas.raab at gmx.de
Tue Jan 19 02:20:17 EST 2010

Hi Yoshiki -

A couple more questions:
>   The created .pot file is uploaded to an online translation site that
> uses Pootle.  The volunteers provides the translation and at the
> release build time, we collect the translation, compile them to the
> .mo files.  GetTextTranslator, a subclass of
> NaturalLanguageTranslator, opens the .mo file and looks up the
> translation of given string from it.

Can you point me to the site where the translations are hosted?

> Also, a phrase is used in different way and not being able to
> translate it differently is a problem.  We thought of several ways to
> solve this problem...  One was to modify these words in the source
> code (e.g. a phrase like "start" to "start (verb)" and "start (noun)")
> but it would have resulted in invalidating a lot of volunteer work and
> having to provide the English translation.  If Pootle was flexible, we
> could have an annotation to each phrase to indicate its use (still
> would have required source change), but didn't happen.  Splitting the
> phrases into different text domains was another possibility and it is
> good for other reason (korakurider has the code even) but didn't
> happen for various reasons.

I'm not sure what "splitting this into different text domains" means in 
this context. How much of a problem is the issue of translating phrases 
differently in practice? Does it happen to pretty much everyone right 
away or is that an occasional gotcha that people just work around the 
best they can?

>   (I thought we started out from 4,000 or such phrases for Etoys, but
> now it appears to have 27,000 or such.  Not sure what it means...)

It's probably just more coverage.

>> * How does localized deployment work with Etoys? I.e., what are the 
>> options for providing localized downloads vs. downloading all supported 
>> locales and switching dynamically upon startup?
>   In general, we bundle these .mo files in the single release.  Upon
> startup, GetTextTranslator scans the specified directory for available
> languages and show them in the menu.  (And trys to switch to the
> system language.)

What are .mo files? How do they relate to .pot files?

>> * Generally speaking, how do people feel about localization in Etoys? Is 
>> it considered to work well, or is it considered to be a painful process? 
>> Are there any obvious alternatives one should look at?
>   This is subjective, but I thought the process overall worked pretty
> good, given that volunteers all over the place.

That's kind of what I was asking for. Put differently, if you had the 
choice between the current approach and some alternative, would you drop 
the current version no questions asked, or would you likely say "you 
know what, it's worked for us". From the sound of it it's the latter.

>   At the bottom line, I'd think that going through the gettext
> mechanism, possibly with nicely annotated strings in the code would be
> okay.  One would want to go for the "system resource strings"-ish
> convention where you only write string IDs in the source code and
> separate strings from the source code, but it looks just annotations
> to me.  For a company work, the people can edit .po files by some
> existing editor and there you can embed comment to show the usage.

Thanks this is all very useful info!

   - Andreas

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