localizing software

Graham Samuel livfoss at mac.com
Fri Jul 13 14:37:12 EDT 2007

Many fine words have been written in reply to Mark Talluto's initial  
question. Personally I favour the text file version or something like  
it (my "something" is a script consisting of a set of global  
definitions which I can pass over as text to a human translator), but  
I have one other point to add, which is that if one is to refer to  
multilingual texts (whether items in menus, dialog texts, error  
messages, instructions or anything else), in a multilingual situation  
you are forced to refer to these indirectly. For example you can't write

Answer "yes, indeed"

but instead have to write something like

Answer mystringConstantYesIndeed

or maybe

Answer the mystringConstantYesIndeed of stack 'Multlingual stuff"

My point is that either version of the above is preferable to writing

Answer myStringConstant468

In other words, the author should still use meaningful names for his/ 
her strings in his/her own native language, otherwise all coding will  
have to be done with a dictionary, which takes away some of the charm  
of the human-readable scripting language which we all know and love.  
I suppose this is really saying that what Eric calls the ID of the  
text string should clearly remind the developer what the string was  
intended to say.

I hope other people agree with this approach.


Graham Samuel / The Living Fossil Co. / UK and France

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