[I18n-sig] gettext and windows

Martin v. Loewis martin@loewis.home.cs.tu-berlin.de
Mon, 17 Sep 2001 08:09:32 +0200

> I have a patch which uses locale.getdefaultlocale()[0] to get information,
> but I wanted to know if there was a reason why this had not been used in
> the first place. 

gettext.find uses the GNU gettext strategy for locating catalogs. I
think there should be a routine that models GNU gettext as close as
possible, even on Windows - Windows also supports environment
variables, after all. That routine does not need to be called
gettext.find, though.

I'd agree that this algorithm is not optimal. However, just
considering the default locale is not appropriate, either:
- On Windows, there is a user locale and a system locale. I don't
  know what the change is that they ever differ, but if they do,
  this might need consideration
- Currently, catalogs are located in 
  <sys.prefix>/share/locale/<lang>/LC_MESSAGES. This is appropriate
  on Unix, since each of the directories on the path will contain
  a lot of other stuff. It is less appropriate on Windows; we should
  consider placing the catalogs into a location nearer to the root
  of the Python installation.
- GNU gettext has the feature of fallback languages, e.g. setting
  LANGUAGES to "fr:es" indicates that you prefer French translations,
  but if none are available, you'd prefer Spanish ones over the default
  text (which typically is English). That may be worth being exposed
  also (*).

So there is something to be fixed, but it appears that more is
involved than just looking at the default locale.


(*) Of course, the fallback mechanism is not fully implemented in
gettext.py, yet: it will fallback on a per-catalog basis, but not on a
per-message basis.