Re: glibc based GTK apps changing languages on the fly

Owen Taylor <> wrote,

> "Manuel M. T. Chakravarty" <> writes:
> > > > > For example you go the the "Language" menu and change the current
> > > > > language used in the application from English to Spanish or Arabic and the
> > > > > application changes languages on the fly without restarting.
> > > > 
> > > > Wow! That would be so cool!
> > > > 
> > > > There could be a "Language" control-center applet for gnome, where you could
> > > > change the language, and suddenly all your apps would change language... That
> > > > would be SO cool... *drool*
> > > > 
> > > 
> > > Cool, yes, very.  Useful, no, not really.
> > 
> > Especially, if it implies changing input methods, it would
> > be extremely useful.  I am living in a Mule-enabled XEmacs
> > switching between English, Germany (with umlauts), and
> > Japanese all day long...
> Well, but you are presumably not too interested in having
> all your menu entries switch from English to German
> to Japanese at the same time. 
> I think that being able to use input methods for different
> languages within an application is an important issue
> that is quite distinct from switching string translations
> on the fly. 

Agreed.  That's why I explicitly mentioned input methods.
However, I can imagine situations (applications), where
switching the string translations would also be helpful, but
these are definitely the exception.

> GTK+ in the next development cycle will be switching over
> to Unicode which should make processing and output of 
> multi-lingual text pretty much automatic. Input is harder
> because one has to use the input method services that
> X provides, which aren't really designed for that.

Yes, I understand that X doesn't make this easy, but
especially in Asia this is an attractive feature.  A friend
of mine recently asked me how to install Linux on his
machine, because he had heard that this would enable him to
write e-mails in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean from within
the same application.

Concerning Unicode, it is surely a good move to use it in
GTK+, but you should be aware of the fact that, at least in
Japan, Unicode is a rather controversial topic because
people think it oversimplifies their language (or writing
system) -- see Stephen Turnbull's forthcoming article about
i18n in the Linux Journal (seems to be scheduled for March).

> But it should be possible, and will be something considered -
> if it isn't in the next release, I'm sure we'll eventually
> get there.



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