Re: POW -- which locales Just Work?

Subject: Re: POW -- which locales Just Work?
From: Karl Ove Hufthammer (
Date: Thu Mar 01 2001 - 08:25:30 CST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Rohr" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 1:58 AM
Subject: POW -- which locales Just Work?

> scope
> -----
> Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to test AbiWord in one or
> more of the following locales to figure out whether it Just Works, in *all*
> of the following ways:

Here's the result of the Norwegian Nynorsk ('nn-NO') localization of 0.7.13 in
Windows 98:

> 1. Without any manual configuration, AbiWord automatically recognizes and
> honors your platform-specific locale settings. Among other things,
> this would mean invoking the appropriate input method(s), if any.

No. Norwegian has *two* official written languages, Nynorsk (language code 'nn')
and Bokmål ('nb'). Windows 98 was written before we got separate language codes
for Nynorsk and Bokmål, and therefore uses 'no-NO' as the name of both locales
(I don't know if this is fixed in Windows 2000). This means that neither the
'nn-NO' nor the 'nb-NO' will work automatically, and you'll have to manually
change the configuration file.

The right (i.e. best) thing to do is probably to pop-up a dialog box asking
which language you want AbiWord to use the first time you run it (for *all*
languages, not just Norwegian).

> 2. If set, we should also honor any locale overrides in the system and user
> preferences files.

This works.

> 3. On launch, the entire application user interface (menus, toolbars,
> dialogs, and messages) is properly localized. None of the dialogs have
> truncated labels.

Some of the dialogs have truncated labels. See <URL: >.

> 4. You can type in the appropriate language. Without swearing. ;-)


> 5. Spell check Just Works too, provided you've installed an appropriate
> dictionary.

There is no dictionary available. Or rather, there are <URL: >, but I haven't been able to
successfully compile a hash file for it.

> 6. You can print what you've typed in a WYSIWYG fashion. This may require
> some twiddling with fonts.

This works perfectly, even with non-Latin-1 characters.

BTW, I think it's a good idea to have locale-specific paper size defaults (e.g.
people using the 'nn-NO' localization would have 'A4' as the default size, while
'en-US' users would have 'Letter' as the default size. Is there a bug report for

> 7. You can cut & paste content to & from the clipboard.

Yes, even with Unicode characters.

> 8. The resulting document gets saved as Unicode, if necessary, rather than
> in some platform-specific charset.

Well, all XML files are by *definition* Unicode documents. The document is saved
in 'ISO-8859-1', and non-8859-1 characters are written as numerical characters

But there are some bugs. En- and em-dashed (possibly other characters too) are
saved as ordinary *hyphens*. If I manually edit the document to use &#8211; and
&#8212;, the document opens and the characters are displayed as en- and
em-dashes, respectively, but when I save it, they're converted to hyphens. I
guess the answer to question 8 should be 'no' or 'partially'.

> This file can be opened and read
> properly on a different platform. (For example, Russian documents
> authored on Windows can be read on Linux, and vice versa.)

It's been a while (~a month) since I tested this, but Linux documents could be
opened correctly on Windows, and vice versa. I doubt this has changed.

Karl Ove Hufthammer

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