[luatex] Translating TeX (obviously a feature request).

Khaled Hosny khaledhosny at eglug.org
Sun Aug 1 12:06:38 CEST 2010

On Sun, Aug 01, 2010 at 11:46:15AM +0200, Paul Isambert wrote:
> Hello all,
> Since LuaTeX reaches down to TeX's most intimate parts (its bowels, of course),
> I was wondering whether there is any plan to give access to TeX's messages, e.g.
> error messages or box reporting, and modify them. My idea is that it may be
> interesting to have versions of TeX that speak any language, because those
> messages could be written as one wishes. I imagine a kind of callback-like
> interface, for instance (probably in a configuration file):
> tex.internal_error("undefined_cs","Commande non définie")
> would replace TeX's "Undefined control sequence" by the French message. The
> impact would be somewhat limited, since anyway most people using TeX speak
> English (they can't really do otherwise), but wouldn't it be worth trying? That
> would be in line with turning from ASCII to Unicode. I haven't the least idea of
> what implementing TeX features takes, but this one seems easy to my ignorant
> eyes... although I understand the LuaTeX already has much on its plate! (By the
> way, thanks Taco for taking into account the write issue.)

I was thinking about localising TeX a while ago too, but I was thinking
in a more conventional way: using GNU gettext to localise TeX messages,
then the localisable strings can be extracted using gettext tools into a
regular PO file that people can translate, convert to MO files and
install alongside LuaTeX. But there might some issue that need to be
considered first e.g. should messages written into log be localised too?
Should there be an explicit switch to select locales or just use the
system locale etc.


 Khaled Hosny
 Arabic localiser and member of Arabeyes.org team
 Free font developer

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