Introducing gettext and .PO files

poedit screenshot
As I said recently, i18n and l10n are best carried out using the right tools...

I've looked around somewhat and it turns out there seems to be an absolute reference in the area: the GNU gettext framework.

This framework actually comprehends several things:

  • A set of conventions about how programs should be written to support i18n;
  • A directory and file naming organization for the translated strings;
  • A runtime library to display localized text;
  • A set of utilities to handle the l10n process;
  • A special mode for Emacs which helps preparing the sources for i18n.

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Mieux que ING Epargne Orange...

Vous n'avez probablement pas râté les pubs ING Epargne Orange... celles qui vous promettent des taux de rentabilité supérieurs à la concurrence pour votre épargne à court terme (disponibilité immédiate).

Elles sont plutôt bien faites et plutôt alléchantes ces pubs. 5% bruts (soit 3,75% nets après prélèvement libératoire et contributions sociales) garantis jusqu'à la fin de l'année... mais pour les nouveaux clients seulement... et dans la limite de 15 000 €. Au delà, c'est 3,25% bruts (2,44% nets).

Et pour les anciens clients? Ben c'est tout à 3,25% bruts! (A partir du 1er septembre).

Bref, si vous aviez déjà un compte Epargne Orange ou si vous vouliez placer plus de 15 000 €, c'est tout de suite moins intéressant: 2.44% nets à comparer aux 2.25 % du Livret A... :-/

La bonne nouvelle, c'est que quand ING baisse les bras, ya Axa Banque qui se réveille! Axa Banque, c'est le nouveau nom de la Banque Directe. Leurs taux pour le compte Epargne ne changent pas: 4% bruts jusqu'à 150 000 € ah non, finalement jusqu'à 50 000 €... (ça laisse un peu plus de marge n'est-ce pas? ;) ) soit 3% nets. Et par les temps qui courent... c'est plutôt pas mal! :P

The idea behind open source

Karl Fogel has it pretty much clear in Chapter 1 of his book: "Open Source Development with CVS - 2ND EDITION":

Imagine a science-fiction device that allows any sort of food or physical object to be infinitely duplicated. If somebody then tried to sell you a tire for your car, why in the world would you buy it? You could just throw your friend’s tire into the duplicator! However, you might want to pay somebody to design a new tire for you or perhaps to install the tire on your car. Or to help you when some other part of your car breaks, you might want to buy a warranty for future support. Or maybe just hire a personal mechanic.

Similarly, in a world where all software is in the public domain and infinitely reproducible, programmers and software companies are able to make a good living not by restricting the flow of software, but by providing a service. Users pay the programmers and companies to design and write new public domain software, as well as install, maintain, customize, troubleshoot, and teach others about it. A programmer or company sells labor, not products — much like a mechanic, plumber, or electrician.

Introducing i18n and l10n

When you develop a piece of software or a website up to a certain point, there comes a time when you try to reach an international audience.

No doubt your first move will be to provide an English version of your software or website.

However, you will soon realize this is not enough. Of course, many people do understand English to some extent; but you have to realize how painful it can be for them. Maybe you don't even realize how easily you can understand English compared to the average. Of course, if you are yourself a native English speaker, you need to try and imagine that every software you use comes in French or German by default! How would you feel about that? :P

Furthermore, you may have spent some time on making your software or website accessible. Users can now change the font size and enhance contrast if they have trouble reading those lines of funky rendered text... That's fine... but what's the use if their problem is not with the formatting but with the language!? :?:

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What is RDF?

by Tim Bray