Japanese (speaking) developer needed for a bit of regex magic

Sebastian basti at redtoad.de
Wed Apr 21 13:46:48 CEST 2010


> > My regular expressions turn the Amazon error messages into Python
> > exceptions.
>
> > This works fine as long as they are in English: "??? is not a valid
> > value for BrowseNodeId. Please change this value and retry your
> > request.", for instance, will raise an InvalidParameterValue
> > exception. However, the Japanese version returns the error message
> > "??? は、BrowseNodeIdの値として無効です。値を変更してから、再度リクエス
> > トを実行してください。" which will not be successfully handled.
>
> > This renders the my module pretty much useless for Japanese users.
>
> Your problem, then, appears to be that you're attacking the issue at the
> wrong layer. Parsing messages in natural language and hoping to
> reconstruct a structure is going to be an exercise in frustration.
>
> Doesn't the API have defined response codes and parameters that you can
> use, instead of parsing error strings in various natural languages?

No, unfortunately not. If it did, I would have used it.

The Amazon API returns an XML response which contains error messages
if a request fails. These messages consist of an error code and an
error description in natural language. Luckily, the description seems
to stick to the same format and is (in all but one case) in plain
English. Much to my dismay I discovered that the Japanese locale
translates the error message!

For example, this is the bit of XML returned for the German locale:

      <Errors>
        <Error>
          <Code>AWS.InvalidParameterValue</Code>
          <Message>??? is not a valid value for BrowseNodeId. Please
change this value and retry your request.</Message>
        </Error>
      </Errors>

The corresponding part from the Japanese locale looks like this:

      <Errors>
        <Error>
          <Code>AWS.InvalidParameterValue</Code>
          <Message>???
は、BrowseNodeIdの値として無効です。値を変更してから、再度リクエストを実行してください。</
Message>
        </Error>
      </Errors>

Of course, one could argue that the type of error (in this case
"AWS.InvalidParameterValue") would be enough. However, in order to
return a maeningful error message, I would like to parse the
description itself - and for this some knowledge of Japanese would be
helpful.



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