Language not in install?

Clytie Siddall clytie at
Tue Jun 24 04:56:30 EDT 2008

To: Pidgin translators' list
Cc: Jim Park (Unicode NSIS) FYI

Thanks for this info, Bjoern. :)

[Background: despite the existence of a Vietnamese translation for  
Pidgin, users can't access it on Windows, because the installer can't  
support it.]

On 24/06/2008, at 4:58 AM, Bjoern Voigt wrote:

> Clytie Siddall wrote:
>> Meanwhile, is there anyway a Windows user can make use of our
>> Vietnamese Pidgin translation? Can s/he compile it separately, or
>> install the program manually, in some way? I have the translation  
>> file
>> up on FTP, so users can access it. A viable workaround would be
>> welcomed by our users.
> The user could set the PIDGINLANG environment variable to get Pidgin  
> in
> Vietnamese.
> From FAQ
> ( 
> ):
>    How does Pidgin for Windows determine which language to use? ¶
>    For the user who installed Pidgin, the language selected during
>    installation will be the default. This can be overridden by setting
>    the PIDGINLANG environment variable (for example, PIDGINLANG=de).  
> If
>    neither of these are specified, it will fall back to the default
>    Windows user locale setting.

I've passed this on to the user, and hope it works for him. Of course,  
he wouldn't have Vietnamese set as his system language, since  
Microsoft haven't bothered to localize their system into our language.  
(Nice advantage for FOSS, though: you can run your system entirely in  
Vietnamese if you install Debian and GNOME, for example. ;) )
> But in general setting an environment variable is not very user  
> friendly
> for an GUI program.

Definitely not. Most of our users are completely new to computing.
> Why we do not offer a Language menu for Pidgin on Windows? In Skype  
> for
> instance there is a menu item for the language selection. If it's not
> possible to switch the language at runtime we could make a hint, that
> the new language will be active after restarting Pidgin.

This is an excellent suggestion. Should we submit a feature request?  
If we do, how realizable is this badly-needed feature?
> The current method of selecting the Pidgin language on installation  
> time
> has some drawbacks, e.g.:
>    * The user may not find his language in the Windows installer.
>      Currently I see 72 *.po files in pidgin-mtn/po/ but only 37 *.nsh
>      files in pidgin-mtn/pidgin/win32/nsis/translations/.

Wow, bad enough that it doesn't work in Vietnamese, but _35_ language  
communities not using Pidgin because we don't provide a viable  
installer? That's an even more serious waste, because we already have  
the translations available. We're just not letting users access them.
>    * Not every user selects his language carefully during setup. Some
>      will probably run the setup in English but want to use the own
>      language later.
>    * The second method of setting the PIDGINLANG variable is not
>      user-friendly.

True. We need to provide a more user-friendly alternative.

Getting back to the installer, more and more projects are switching to  
NSIS Unicode [1], so they _can_ provide installers for all translated  
languages. My group has recently been involved with  
switching to NSIS Unicode. The newest version of NSIS Unicode now  
supports Vietnamese. ;)

If Pidgin starts using NSIS Unicode, this problem will be solved. :)

It might still be a good idea, though, to have a language menu on  
startup, or allow users to change their language in the prefs (Psi  
does it that way: the language chosen is part of each profile).

How practical are these changes?

from Clytie

Vietnamese Free Software Translation Team


If NSIS Unicode doesn't support your language yet, it's simply a  
matter of translating a couple of brief files. Get in touch with the  
developer: he's very helpful.
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