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Re: [Axiom-developer] Documentation bug?

From: Ralf Hemmecke
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Documentation bug?
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 17:48:34 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird 1.5 (X11/20051201)

Hi Tim,

On 02/15/2006 03:39 PM, root wrote:
Maybe I should have been a bit more precise. I actually already knew what )abbrev is for. I just forgot the syntax.

As you see the first message tells me:

   Issue )abbrev? for more information.

And if I do that I get a not so helpful message. That was the bug I was referring to.

visit src/doc/msgs/s2-us.msgs

this file contains most (not all, unfortunately) of the messages issued by axiom. i wrote it so that we could "internationalize" the messages (e.g. write german equivalent text) hence the "us" in name.

Localization of software is not so easy. If I just take the above mentioned file and translate it into German, I am sure that I will hate the German error message when I see one. The reason is simple. In that file there is not enough information to come up with a reasonable translation (at least not for all messages).

For example:

 %1 macro %2b .

I have no idea how this would look like if I replace "macro" by "Makro".
Maybe this would sound completely stupid when I read the actual error message. And worse still, that message might be not interpretable anymore and totally useless for the one who is reading it.

Maybe you haven't seen programs that open up dialogs saying "Do you want to quit?" and at the same time they offer buttons "JA" and "NEIN". (Or the other way with german text and english buttons.) That is so ugly!

And I was actually complaining about

(2) -> )abbrev?
    Your argument list is not valid.

which might correspond to
 Your argument list is not valid.

> you could rewrite the message to make it clearer and send a patch.

Now to what do you expect me to change that? I don't even know whether it is used in several other places.

most of the message from axiom, as you'd expect from a piece of
research software, are nearly "debugging" messages intended for
people who know what they are doing. we could make a beginner or expert set of meesage.

Yes, but only experts can write such messages. Unfortunately, I am not one of those.


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