11.2 About `gettext'
The definition of the `gettext' interface comes from a Uniforum
proposal. It was submitted there by Sun, who had implemented the
`gettext' function in SunOS 4, around 1990. Nowadays, the `gettext'
interface is specified by the OpenI18N standard.
The main point about this solution is that it does not follow the
method of normal file handling (open-use-close) and that it does not
burden the programmer with so many tasks, especially the unique key
handling. Of course here also a unique key is needed, but this key is
the message itself (how long or short it is). See Comparison
for a more detailed comparison of the two methods.
The following section contains a rather detailed description of the
interface. We make it that detailed because this is the interface we
chose for the GNU `gettext' Library. Programmers interested in using
this library will be interested in this description.
* Interface to gettext The interface
* Ambiguities Solving ambiguities
* Locating Catalogs Locating message catalog files
* Charset conversion How to request conversion to Unicode
* Contexts Solving ambiguities in GUI programs
* Plural forms Additional functions for handling plurals
* Optimized gettext Optimization of the *gettext functions
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