Usually, programs are written and documented in English, and use English at execution time for interacting with users. This is true not only from within GNU, but also in a great deal of proprietary and free software. Using a common language is quite handy for communication between developers, maintainers and users from all countries. On the other hand, most people are less comfortable with English than with their own native language, and would rather be using their mother tongue for day to day's work, as far as possible. Many would simply love seeing their computer screen showing a lot less of English, and far more of their own language.
GNU `gettext' is an important step for the GNU Translation Project, as it is an asset on which we may build many other steps. This package offers to programmers, translators, and even users, a well integrated set of tools and documentation. Specifically, the GNU `gettext' utilities are a set of tools that provides a framework to help other GNU packages produce multi-lingual messages. These tools include a set of conventions about how programs should be written to support message catalogs, a directory and file naming organization for the message catalogs themselves, a runtime library supporting the retrieval of translated messages, and a few stand-alone programs to massage in various ways the sets of translatable strings, or already translated strings. A special GNU Emacs mode also helps interested parties in preparing these sets, or bringing them up to date.
Online Manual is available at www.gnu.org/software/gettext/manual/gettext.html
gettext can be found on in the subdirectory
/pub/gnu/gettext/ on your favorite
GNU mirror. For other ways to
obtain gettext, please read
How to get GNU Software
Please send FSF & GNU inquiries & questions to email@example.com. There are also other ways to contact the FSF.
Please send comments on these web pages to firstname.lastname@example.org, send other questions to email@example.com.
Copyright (C) 1998 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.
Updated: 06 Sep 2001 haible