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Subject: Re: XML for language files

Re: XML for language files

From: Jonas Häggqvist <>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 13:26:43 +0200

Daniel Stenberg wrote:
> And moving away from doing translations with just a text editor of
> course adds quite a bit to the process of translating. Possibly of
> course, your online service is the better way to do them anyway and then
> we'll get less human edited files and then the downsides of XML's lack
> of readablity becomes much less important.

That's certainly a valid point, but I understand that not everyone wants to
use a webbased editor (no ability to save mid-translation, browsers may
crash etc.). Perhaps someone could whip up a desktop application, but I
don't think it'll be me. The logic of genlang should be easy to transfer to
other languages, since almost all of it will be implemented using the DOM
interface. In the end, I don't think it's much of a hassle, even if you have
to edit by hand..

> I find these files a lot harder to edit manually. Possibly easier to
> check for syntax errors, sure, but there will also be more syntax errors
> to detect! ;-)

For some uses I agree, but in the case of translating, the editing a
translator has to do is 99% of the time simply replacing a text-string with
another. I don't see how that's "a lot harder":

- e200,ipodvideo,h120: "Foo"
+ e200,ipodvideo,h120: "Bar"


- <target name="e200,ipodvideo,h120">Foo</target>
+ <target name="e200,ipodvideo,h120">Foo</target>

Only in rare cases will a translator need to write *any* XML himself. For
this reason, I don't see an XML format being a lot harder to edit. Harder
yes, but not a lot.

> So, in the end I'm open for such a switch if it truly gives us benefits
> and it won't add too much pain to the translators.

I still doubt translators will care much one way or the other, even if they
were to edit the file by hand. For now, I'll go ahead and have a go at
implementing genlang using this XML format.

Jonas Häggqvist
Received on 2007-09-20

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