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From "Eriksson, Michael" <>
Subject RE: [logging] Internationalization of log messages
Date Fri, 23 Aug 2002 14:36:40 GMT

> I'm not involved in commons-logging, and while I disagree with you a fair
> bit on this, Java is also not an i18nised language yet.
> There is no official chinese/japanese/arabic/hebrew/etc version of javac
> which compiles a syntax of java with translated words.
> ie) not int etc.

If you mean a version of java where keywords etc. had been translated,
I would consider this a very bad thing. A programming language is
a language in itself (stretching the definition of language somewhat).
That items of the programming language are borrowed from (normally) english
is an other thing entirely.
The words "int", "for" etc. do not themselves have a semantic because of
their english meaning. Instead they rely on the semantic defined by
the specification of, in this case, java.

(If you meant something else, I am afraid I do not understand you.)

> Until someone can write Java code purely in a foreign language, there
> doesn't seem to be a big point in claiming people don't know English.
> On the other hand, if 4 chinese developers have to put up with logging in
> poorly written english as a way to describe errors to each other, it seems
> counter-productive.
> So it still depends on the project I'd believe. Your point about having to
> read poorly translated logging messages applies, but in reverse. Why would
> a swede wish to read error logs in poor english when the creator could
> have written a much better version in swedish. Would a dane/norwegian have
> prefered the swedish log.
> Keeping these strictly to english seems to be workable for western-europe,
> india and other anglicised/americanised nations. But the far east nations
> and middle-eastern would seem different? Ditto for S.America, wouldn't
> some form of spanish make more sense there?

This is a good point. If the people involved in a project do not have
sufficient knowledge of english this might indeed be counter productive.
It does however only address the question if english is suitable or not.
The arguments for using no internationalization remains.

As an argument, for not using e.g. swedish/chinese/spanish -- if the cost
is not to high,
one must consider the future group of developers. E.g. if a small swedish
company with only swedish developers write their code, comments and log
message in swedish they will be ok. For a while. Then the company expands
to the U.K., is bought by Microsoft or hires a brilliant chinese, who does
not no a word of swedish.

But as you state, the common language might under circumstances more
appropriately be something else.

> I wonder how Ruby handles this. Does the Ruby language output errors in
> japanese by default etc.
> Also, are there Java programmers in other locales who take advantage of
> the fact that they can use most of unicode in their Java identifiers? Can
> I expect to decode some German code with umlauts etc?

Sofar I have never seen this done. (But a few examples
of German with umlauts "encoded" as "ae", "oe" etc.)



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