October 25, 2018

Internationalizing the Kernel

At a time when many companies are rushing to internationalize their products and services to appeal to the broadest possible market, the Linux kernel is actively resisting that trend, although it already has taken over the broadest possible marketthe infrastructure of the entire world.

David Howells recently created some sample code for a new kernel library, with some complex English-language error messages that were generated from several sources within the code. Pavel Machek objected that it would be difficult to automate any sort of translations for those messages, and that it would be preferable simply to output an error code and let something in userspace interpret the error at its leisure and translate it if needed.

Ordinarily, I might expect Pavel to be on the winning side of this debate, with Linus Torvalds or some other top developer insisting that support for internationalization was necessary in order to give the best and most useful possible experience to all users. However, Linus had a very different take on the situation:

Read more at Linux Journal

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