(gettext.info.gz) Trans Intro 1
* NOTE: * This documentation section is outdated and needs to be
Facing this internationalization effort, a few users expressed their
concerns. Some of these doubts are presented and discussed, here.
* Smaller groups
Some languages are not spoken by a very large number of people, so
people speaking them sometimes consider that there may not be all
that much demand such versions of free software packages.
Moreover, many people being _into computers_, in some countries,
generally seem to prefer English versions of their software.
On the other end, people might enjoy their own language a lot, and
be very motivated at providing to themselves the pleasure of
having their beloved free software speaking their mother tongue.
They do themselves a personal favor, and do not pay that much
attention to the number of people benefiting of their work.
Other users are shy to push forward their own language, seeing in
this some kind of misplaced propaganda. Someone thought there
must be some users of the language over the networks pestering
other people with it.
But any spoken language is worth localization, because there are
people behind the language for whom the language is important and
dear to their hearts.
* Odd translations
The biggest problem is to find the right translations so that
everybody can understand the messages. Translations are usually a
little odd. Some people get used to English, to the extent they
may find translations into their own language "rather pushy,
obnoxious and sometimes even hilarious." As a French speaking
man, I have the experience of those instruction manuals for goods,
so poorly translated in French in Korea or Taiwan...
The fact is that we sometimes have to create a kind of national
computer culture, and this is not easy without the collaboration of
many people liking their mother tongue. This is why translations
are better achieved by people knowing and loving their own
language, and ready to work together at improving the results they
* Dependencies over the GPL or LGPL
Some people wonder if using GNU `gettext' necessarily brings their
package under the protective wing of the GNU General Public
License or the GNU Library General Public License, when they do
not want to make their program free, or want other kinds of
freedom. The simplest answer is "normally not".
The `gettext-runtime' part of GNU `gettext', i.e. the contents of
`libintl', is covered by the GNU Library General Public License.
The `gettext-tools' part of GNU `gettext', i.e. the rest of the
GNU `gettext' package, is covered by the GNU General Public
The mere marking of localizable strings in a package, or
conditional inclusion of a few lines for initialization, is not
really including GPL'ed or LGPL'ed code. However, since the
localization routines in `libintl' are under the LGPL, the LGPL
needs to be considered. It gives the right to distribute the
complete unmodified source of `libintl' even with non-free
programs. It also gives the right to use `libintl' as a shared
library, even for non-free programs. But it gives the right to
use `libintl' as a static library or to incorporate `libintl' into
another library only to free software.
(gettext.info.gz) Trans Intro 1
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