Random rants from a KDE user which also works on making KDE more Hebrew friendly.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Freeze in KDE4.2 - now lets check out the strings

KDE's trunk is now frozen and no new features can be added, nor visual strings can be modified or added, we are in release mode. Lets see some of those strings:

Inactive contrast effect type, taken from colorsettings.ui:830 in kdebase, the string is found somewhere in kcmcolors.pot. I understand this as the non-active contrast of a type of an effect or the type of the effect for the contrast of non-active (something).  This is how it will sound when translating to my language, it might sound ok in English but it does not always sound good enough in other languages. Looking at the spanish translation it seems the second translation is what the original developer meant.... you see? I need to look into another translation to understand the original string. How can a user understand it?

You have a Logitech Mouse connected, and libusb was found at compile time, but it was not possible to access this mouse. This is probably caused by a permissions problem - you should consult the manual on how to fix this. This one comes from kcminput.pot, and my question is: which manual? ... are you sure it will have information about something like "chmod a+rw /dev/usb-mouse-blabla"?

And then are the giziliion-gazillion technology names we use: plasma, akonadi, strigi, phonon, dbus and more. What am I speaking about this? since some languages leave those names in english even though the langauge is not latin based (for example the Hebrew team is doing this) and others do try to translate the latin letters to the alphabet (the Arabic team does this for example). This is fine, until we start talking about "plasmoids"... and then things get funky. I might need to re-think my policy and translating plasmoid to פלסמואיד and also plasma to פלסמה or פלסמא (the latter sounds more Aramic then Hebrew so I might keep the first one). 

Again, why mumbeling about local decitinos? Because when choosing technology names developers do not think about i18n and l10n (1), what happens when the technology name cannot be transcribed into a specific language? I once heard that CocaCola cannot be transcribed exactly to Chinese and when localizing the trade mark CocaCola used the closes sounds they could find to write the name of the product (2).

Don't get me wrong, KDE 4.2 will kick ass, and the next Mandriva distribution will come with it will get in my laptop (3). But still, as a contributor I am not happy about some decitions, and that's OK.  Since I am using Gnome at work (4) and I see the applications on the other side, and I like the ones KDE is shipping/developing.

(1)  lazy... write the full words!
(2)  any chinese reading this? can you confirm this?
kate and Konsole. Just because the kubuntu-desktop is not stable enough.
(3)  yes, I am still using KDE 3.5.something. Stable and usable, I need to do work and not fight my own system.
(4)  Ubuntu 8.10 (64 bit) with kubuntu-desktop installed, running a GNome session with Dolphin. Dolphin kicked mc's ass.