Localization madness

Posted on:January 07 2008

Last week, I needed a feature in Poser, which I didn't find in the user interface of the program. Maybe it was there, but as Poser n00b and totally lacking of 4 dimensional creative skills [=animation ;)], I didn't find the option. But I noticed that Poser has a built-in scripting language namely Python, so I sat down and - being a better programmer than artist - implemented that feature relatively quickly. The only obstacle was that the names of the dynamic parameters of the poser phyton classes were localized. In the german version, you have to write for example obj.Parameter["KreisenX"] instead of obj.Parameter["RotateX"]. Or "Winkel" instead of "Angle". Quite stupid. I think Microsoft Excel is even worse, where the built-in functions are localized, for example an 'if' looks like =IF(A5>1;0;1) while you have to type =WENN(A5>1;0;1) in the german version. The problem is getting worse in some situations because english programmers almost never have heard of this thing named 'localization' and so after having installed some applications in Windows, your hard disk gets filled with a lot of new directories like "Programs" and "Programme", "My Music" and "Meine Musik" and so on. (Obviously, those programmers simply created hard coded directory names. That they should have used the windows functions for this instead is a different story). In Vista, this is now even more disturbing, because it looks like now even the Microsoft programmers themselves haven't understood it correctly: Programs usually get installed into the 'Program Files' directory, but unfortunately, this is named 'Programme' in german. Both folders exist now by default, but 'Programme' is just a link to 'Program Files' as it seems. Resulting in a weired, schizophrenic installer behavior: You usually select 'Programme\MyProgam' as target directory, after which the installer says that you just selected 'Program Files\MyProgam'. Which is confusing already. And if you select 'Program Files\MyProgam' instead, the installer would tell you that it cannot do this. Exercise: Explain this to an average user if you have a lot of time :)


part of the reason for they link folders in Vista is because of the 64-bit, because 32-bit aps get installed to "Program Files (x86)" and Program Files is reserved for 64-bit.
The Anaconda
2008-01-07 20:55:00

Interesting post. Do you know that the Chinese script to the right of the post should be read from top to bottom and from left to right. It's a poem.
2008-01-08 06:02:00

I know the order in which to read chinese script but cannot transcribe it. Can somebody translate the poem in english
2008-01-08 09:55:00

I just hope this never happens in my language. I am already getting a headache just thinking of it.
2008-01-08 10:11:00

Heh, I knew about the Program Files thing but I never knew about Excel renaming functions (having never used Office in anything other than English). I assume it can deal with the change when you load the spreadsheet into another machine in a different language?

Making parameter names localised is really dumb if (as I assume) that breaks scripts across languages.
2008-01-08 10:41:00

This is exactly the reason why I only (try to) use English software. Strange enough, in my Dutch XP installation, "Program Files" is just called "Program Files". The same for all other folders like Document and Settings.
2008-01-08 12:57:00

I don't know if excel converts the formulars after loading in a different version, but i hope so :)
2008-01-08 15:44:00

Yeah, Excel converts it to some universal format/language internally. It still annoyed the crap out of me when my school had German Excel and I had the English version at home. Let's just say the translations aren't always as obvious as if() -> wenn()...

Phil Jordan
2008-01-14 14:51:00

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