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Re: Before l10n, better practices for (message) ?

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Before l10n, better practices for (message) ?
Date: Fri, 26 May 2017 11:07:15 +0300

> From: Jean-Christophe Helary <address@hidden>
> Date: Thu, 25 May 2017 07:35:07 +0900
> Cc: Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden>,
>  address@hidden
> > There is no point to straightening up strings if we don't have a 
> > translation infrastructure.
> As the title suggests I was talking about better practices for UI messages 
> regardless of whether we do l10n or not.
> i18n and l10n are one thing, but having manageable strings that don't 
> generate grammatical errors because developers consider elisp as a macro 
> language for Natural Languages is a different thing.
> It is not even a chicken and egg situation. Fixing strings and setting rules 
> for developers will benefit all users right now. And we can also work on 
> i18n, which is a totally different thing and requires a skill set that I'm 
> pretty sure I don't have right now (while figuring out what a complex concat 
> does is reasonably within what I can do right now).

I see your point.  However, it seems to me that maintaining our doc
strings in good translatable order without actually having the ability
to translate them will impose a burden on the contributors which we
will be unable to justify in good faith.  So, although the initial
work, if done by you or some other motivated individual, should be
well within our reach, it is its maintenance henceforth that bothers

Once we do have some minimal infrastructure for translations, we then
can ask the contributors to comply with its requirements without
having any moral dilemmas.

> And as I just wrote to Eli, I'm fine with helping in that area but there are 
> people who are much more qualified in terms of experience with Emacs and 
> Elisp. My priority right now is to learn about Emacs and Elisp while helping 
> where I can, and that does not include creating a full i18n infrastructure on 
> my own.

Thank you.  I do encourage you (and anyone else who is interested) to
start thinking and working on such an infrastructure.  My advice would
be to have this high-level goal guide you in your study of Emacs and
ELisp, i.e. I suggest to focus on those parts in Emacs that are most
relevant to that goal.  Then 2 good things will happen: (1) you will
have a specific practical goal and context for using your new
knowledge, and (2) you move closer to your goal by learning the
relevant stuff and coding relevant features.

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