About the name of GNOME 3 core application names / translation


there is a discussion [1] on the internationalization mailing list
about GNOME 3 core application names, the ambiguous situation they
bring, and the difficulties it brings for translation. I try to
summarize to the best the issue. Read the thread [1] and contact
people for more information.

The main objective with simple object based application names [2] is
understood. It makes a clear link between the application name and the
core object it deals with, this with the objective to make meaning for
the users. In opposition Nautilus, Epiphany, Evolution does not make
meaning  for new users. This scheme works very well in an application
list, or on a window title. A novice user identifies easily and
clearly what it is all about.

However it also brings several issues. For example

> "Copyright 2003-1012 The Web Developers", which sounds like "Developers of the World Wide Web".

This is even more confusing in French (at least), where "web" (the
www) is written "Web" with upper case. See also [3].

> Notifications say "Open with Files" when an external drive is plugged in.

It is actually not clear that Files is an application.

Therefore the questions :
- shall we keep the application names untranslated (like trademarks or
person names)? But then we miss out the original goal: make meaning
for the users.
- shall we use explicit functional names like "File manager", "Web
browser"? Everywhere? Or only in places where the meaning is
"functional" or where there is less context? (like notifications etc.)
- copyright notices and such, should the name be so generic? And in
translations, should the name be really translated here? Shouldn't it
be made more explicit for example with adding "GNOME", like in
"Copyright 2012 - the GNOME <app name> Developers"?
- Shouldn't we may expect that users (even the users at the lowest
imaginable level) are able to remember some application names?
- etc.

that the issue is not lost in translation, it amplifies in
translation. Shorts one-word names can work somehow in English, but
can be very awkward and/or ambiguous in various languages.

TO: internationalization mailing list
Subject: Confusion over epiphany new name
Archive: https://mail.gnome.org/archives/gnome-i18n/2012-March/msg00078.html

[2] https://live.gnome.org/Design/Apps/

[3] https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=671831

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