[sword-devel] Locale differences

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Mon Sep 10 12:44:30 MST 2012

Just wanted to note here some differences between Xiphos and BibleTime
locale handling.

I'm working with a new, minority language translation. The language is
Takwane with the language code abbreviation "tke". I have successfully
created a module which has the conf file entry "Lang=tke" and began to
note some oddities about locale handling. For ease of reading further,
"Wambeela" is the Takwane name for Genesis and "1. Mose" is how the
book name appears in our German locale.

In Xiphos, when I start the application with my default locale of
LANG=en_US.UTF-8 and open the Takwane module, the application properly
understands only the English names of books and ignores the Takwane.
That is, I can type in "Genesis 2:1" and be properly navigated to that
position but entering "Wambeela 2:1" causes the application to ignore
my input. To test, I started the application with LANG=de, and I could
type EITHER "Genesis 2:1" or "1. Mose 2:1" and I would navigate to the
appropriate passage. If I started the application with LANG=tke I
could enter either "Genesis" or "Wambeela". Thus, Xiphos ignores the
Lang setting on the module and only understands the LANG environment

In BibleTime I started the application with my en_US.UTF-8 locale and
opened the Takwane module. Here, the module understood both "Genesis"
and "Wambeela". Setting LANG=de and restarting the application causes
it to still understand "Genesis" and "Wambeela" but it can't grasp "1.
Mose" and instead punts me to "Rev 1:1" for a parsing error.

Appears to ignore the LANG variable, but cannot parse the module's
address without using the "-l tke" switch.

So it appears that the engine will always comprehend English book
names and that BibleTime is somehow honoring the module's Lang setting
but ignoring its own UI setting while Xiphos is honoring the
UI/environment setting but ignoring the module's Lang setting.

I just wanted to put that out here, so there is a record of it and so
developers for either app can think about the UX they want. In the
case of Takwane, since neither application has a Takwane locale it is
likely the users will try for Portugese in the application's UI but
will still want to type their native Takwane book names. This makes
Xiphos' UX undesirable as it only understands English and whatever
locale the UI is in. But presumably a user might want to open a module
in a different language and still be able to use their native locale
(like us English speakers are probably used to doing since the engine
appears to understand English all the time). This makes BibleTime's UX
bad because it seems to ignore the UI's locale.

I'm unsure of a path to take when recommending an application to the
translators for testing because of this. Both situations could be
awkward, unless they eventually decide it is worth the effort to
translate the UI itself into Takwane.


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