Even though English is widely accepted as the language for
scientific computing, and many programs are accepted in the original
version, an increasing number of people insist that programs be
adapted to their tongue.
Internationalization (i18n for short) takes care of the translation
part of adapting programs, which is a very large part of the problem,
particularly taking into account the diverse needs of the world's
Localization (l10n) is very related, and takes into account the
local customs - how to write numbers, monetary systems, time
representation and many other, less obvious aspects of daily life.
From version 0.7.6, linSmith can be translated to other languages, and,
in fact received translations to Chinese and Spanish.
I you would like to translate the program, here are the steps to follow:
- Unpack the tar.gz source package as usual.
- Go to the po/ directory
- Copy linsmith.pot to a file consisting of the
desired language and .po, eg.: nl.po for Dutch.
- Edit this file with an editor capable of editing your language
using Unicode - UTF-8 (of course, you say. But it is not so
simple for the Asian languages!) For each translatable term,
the .po file contains a comment, and two lines. Eg:
Translate the term after msgid, and insert the translation
between the quotes after msgstr. Do leave all lines in the
destination file - they are needed to make the translation, and to
automatically update the files when a new version comes along.
- To test, do a 'make install' and run linsmith again. If the
language corresponds to the one of your system, the program
should now start in your language! If you want to test
linsmith in one of the other languages, you can
Of course, you need to have a capable font installed to see
- Note: if you test other languages with the above method,
remember that your window manager was probably started in
your language, so the title of the main window may not be
- And a last note: If you would like to contribute the translation
to the package, please do so. I would appreciate it very much.
If you would like to know more about the fields to be completed
at the top of the .po-file, or other details about the
internationalization process, please consult the official gettext documentation at gnu.org
(c) John Coppens ON6JC/LW3HAZ