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Re: lynx-dev messages

From: Klaus Weide
Subject: Re: lynx-dev messages
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 14:50:36 -0600 (CST)

On Mon, 21 Feb 2000, Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS wrote:
> Sorry, but I have to complain bitterly about lynx-2.8.3.pot. I don't
> know whether these comments will help anyone, but it might make me
> feel better ...

In general I agree.  There are certainly lots of things than can be
improved.  However:

> (1) There are far too many long-winded and detailed messages, when a
> simple general-purpose message would suffice, e.g.:

Sometimes the seemingly redundant messages do make sense, for giving more
detailed information than what would be in a single general-purpose message,
and for helping to understand the user to understand a problem.

> msgid "Unable to open temporary file for mailto URL!"
> msgid "Unable to reopen temporary file for deletion of link."
> msgid "Can't open temporary file!"
> msgid "Cannot open temporary file for news POST."

I think it is useful to have extra information on what kind of temp
file lynx is having problems with.

> msgid "Give name of file to save in"
> msgid "Enter a filename: "
> msgid "Enter new name for file: "
> msgid "Enter name of file to create: "

Again, the prompt reminds the user (who chooses to read it...) just
what kind of file he/she is about to create (or read, or...).

> msgid "You cannot download a mailto: link."
> msgid "You cannot download cookies."
> msgid "You cannot download a printing option."

"You cannot download this special URL" may be just as useful here.
In normal situations.  (There could still be some "unnormal" situations
where the more detailed info could give additional hints.  Like some
server trying to redirect a HTTP request to a special URL... [although
this kind of "attack" should already be rejected, with a different

> msgid "Out of memory reading jump file!"
> msgid "Out of memory reading jump table!"
> msgid "Memory exhausted!  Aborting..."
> msgid "Memory exhausted!  Program aborted!"

The difference between (3) and (4) may not be useful, although it seems
that at one point it was supposed to convey a different meaning.
I still find it useful to know that it's a jump file that causes a problem,
if that's the case. (although that kind of error would be extremely

> (2) Some of the messages seem badly phrased/written, e.g.:

Yes. - You don't have to carry over bad style in your translation,
though... (You could even make an English-to-English translation just
to improve message texts.)

> msgid "Execution capabilities are not compiled into this version."
> msgid "Unable to access WWW file!!!"
> msgid "The domain has been eaten!"
> msgid "Maximum Gobble Date:"

The whole language about "eating"/"gobbling" in the Cookie area looks
like kind of a joke...  but that's the terminology the original
implementer chose, and at least it's somewhat consistent.
(I have tried to preserve it faithfully in the German translation,
where it looks even weirder...)

> (3) Commands are not internationalised, e.g.:
> msgid "The 'd'ownload command is currently disabled."
> msgid "'A'lways allowing from domain '%s'."

Still an open problem that hasn't been addressed in general.

> (4) All the messages seem to go via #defines, so the 's' in Emacs
> po-mode doesn't help.

Not all - as a rule of thumb, new messages that occur only in one place
often just have a gettext() inline.

Even with the additional level of redirection, I didn't find it too
difficult to find the relevant source positions in emacs (using a tags
table and/or one of the other PO-mode special keys, as far as I recall).

> (5) Inconsisent punctuation, e.g.:
> msgid "ERROR - unable to open bookmark file."
> msgid "ERROR! - download command is misconfigured."
> msgid "ERROR - Unable to mail file"
> ...
> (6) Too many exclamation marks. You should never use more than one
> '!'; it looks really unprofessional.

Yes - but again, you don't have to adhere to the style in your


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