[RFC] FDP locale "en" considered harmful

Tommy Reynolds Tommy.Reynolds at MegaCoder.com
Thu Mar 2 19:11:35 UTC 2006

Hello, Doc'ers and I18N'ers!

Before we get a possible exponential explosion as more documents
appear in our project, we have a problem.

In the FDP early days, we mistakenly used the string "en" as a label
to identify English-language file, such as "foo-en.xml".

Later, we added I18N support and the labeling changed to
"foo-${LANG}.xml", where ${LANG} was an ISO locale designator such
"ru" or "pt_BR".

Much later, we changed the filename scheme to use the ${LANG} locale
as a subdirectory specifier, such as "${LANG}/foo.xml".

Embarrassingly enough, we forgot to change the pseudo-locale "en"
into a real locale string such as "en_US".  Because of this, some
tools complain about not having an "en" locale, .POT/.PO files are
being generated using the fictitious locale "en" as a reference, and
undoubtedly other issues that I haven't figured out yet.

So (gulp) I propose to change all references to the "en"
pseudo-locale to the legal "en_US" string.  This will require some
directory renaming, Makefile ${PRI_LANG} surgery, and some
search-and-destroy "s/en/en_US/g" in every .POT/.PO file to date.
AIUI, this will not corrupt the existing translations, it's just a
change in the comment locating the replacement string:

	#: entities-en.xml:6(title)

would become

	#: entities-en_US.xml:6(title)

and no translation hiccups should occur.  This calls for a shell


If we ever need to do this, now is the time or forever live in a
bogus "en" locale.

Speak now or forever.. oh, you get the point.

I'm already an anomaly, I shall soon be an anachronism, and I have
every intention of dying an abuse!
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