thunderbird in German?

Polytropon freebsd at
Mon Aug 5 04:52:28 UTC 2019

On Sat, 03 Aug 2019 23:42:19 +0200, hw wrote:
> Polytropon <freebsd at> writes:
> > On Fri, 02 Aug 2019 21:44:15 +0200, hw wrote:
> >> Polytropon <freebsd at> writes:
> >> 
> >> > On Fri, 02 Aug 2019 00:57:12 +0200, hw wrote:
> >> >> Polytropon <freebsd at> writes:
> >> 
> >> > [...]
> >> I usually don't notice whether it's English or German, but the users
> >> will freak out as if it would make a difference (which it doesn't
> >> because they don't know what they're doing anyway).
> >
> > Same here. I prefer the english interface language because the
> > german translation often is incomplete (english menu items among
> > german ones) or wrong or missing (especially regarding error
> > messages).
> right
> I think part of the problem is that Germany has almost entirely missed
> out on this technology, hence there is neither any frame of mind that
> could lead to good translations, nor are there words available that
> would be required.

Availability of words (especially for established termini technici)
is not a problem. I think the mindset it the following: "Novice users
won't read documentation anyway. Advanced users can understand the
existing english documentation, so why translate it?" In many cases,
the translation, if it exists, is sloppy and contains lots of errors
in many aspects (especially spelling and punctuation), because the
language skills of Germans regarding their own language is constantly
decreasing due to the ongoing "spelling reforms" which cause writers
to be unsure what spelling and punctuation rule is valid _now_...

> If there was a suitable frame of mind, there would
> probably be words, though it might be difficult to find a frame of mind
> without the suitable words.

One core problem is that english words are simply interwoven in a
german sentence, like "wenn der Computer idle ist", where a german
translation would be possible (and useful, especially if there is
no explanation of what "idle" means.

Another core problem is to perform at least the attempt (!) to
provide suitable words, instead of going the "easier" way mentioned
above. Misunderstandings are preprogrammed. :-)

But keep in mind Germans, before 1990, were able to use programs
provided in English, because there simply was no other language
version available. This especially applied to the 8-bit era and
the mainframe use.

> It took years before I finally figured out that "allgemeine
> Schutzverletzung" is supposed to mean "segmentation fault".

The correct TT is "Speicherschutzverletzung", as segmentation
refers to memory. :-)

Took me some learning to understand that in SYSABEND, "abend"
didn't mean "evening", but "AB-normal END". I still use the
word "Sysabend machen" for "Feierabend machen".

And a classic one: "Help! My PC says I performed an illegal
abortion!!!" ;-)

> I wouldn't
> even call that a translation; it only shows that whoever came up with it
> had no clue what they were translating.  Segmentation fault makes
> perfect sense in English and none whatsoever in German because there is
> no frame of mind with which anyone could understand what it means.  I'd
> call it "Arbeitsspeicherbereichstrennungsüberschreitung", and noone
> would understand that, either.

The logical conclusion would be "Segmentierung" while explaining
what this means in the context of memory, and next to "fault",
there's also "violation" where more than one possible translation
exists; I'd say "Überschreitung" or "Verletzung" would be a good
one in _this_ context.

> > The only programs I really _want_ to be in German are LibreOffice and
> > Firefox (for reference).
> So are they any different or is it just to see how bad the translation
> is?

The german translation for LibreOffice is excellent, and it helps
me in my work to have a reference system in the same language as
my users. Additionally I often don't know the english name of
something I'm familiar with in German, like "Registerhaltigkeit"
or other TT from typography.

The same applies to Firefox (for reference), even though _I_ like
my browsers in English.

An additional fact is that the english words are shorter (in
horizontal size), so menues are more convenient to use, like
"Reply to sender" vs. "Antworten an Absender". :-)

> >> This kinda reminds me of Gnome with which it is impossible to even add a
> >> program starter.
> >
> > Oh, don't get me started with my hate-journey across Gnome. While
> > Gnome first was superior to KDE language-wise, it later became
> > more and more complicated: Not reading .xinitrc or .xsession, so
> > forcing you to manually add "autostart programs", and mount/umount
> > (and eject for optical units) didn't work at all, even though I
> > followed the existing documentation, but finally I had to hack
> > the umount binary (!)... And GDM's inability to launch anything
> > than a Gnome session, and then came Gnome 3 which was so unusable
> > that I switched the systems that ran Gnome for many years to Mate.
> > That's the end of my personal Gnome story. :-)
> I could never bring myself to actually use it.  I seriously wanted to
> try not long ago and had to give up when I found that I can't configure
> some windows to have no decorations and others to be sticky and on top.
> Even the most simple stuff is impossible with Gnome.

Especially in Gnome 3, where I often say it might probably make
sense on a tablet, but not on a computer screen... :-/

> >> It's already entirely useless because it doesn't even
> >> have a usable window manager, but who would expect that you can't do
> >> something basic like adding a start button or a menu entry.  I had to
> >> switch a machine ever to KDE because of that.
> >
> > Would you say KDE is usable again for "german novice users"?
> > I haven't tried KDE for some time because of bloat...
> I know someone who's using it after I switched to KDE from Gnome because
> he needed a couple program starters.  So far, he seems to be ok with it.

I've had users using PC-BSD years ago, when it was still KDE-based,
and they were happy with it.

> I haven't tried KDE in a very long time.  I used it for a while and gave
> up because of too many bugs.

My fear of KDE is bloat. It has its own subsystems, piles of
libraries, services and so on that are primarily developed for
Linux. Will they always work on FreeBSD as intended? And if your
PC is already a few years old, will the graphics be smooth enough
to be usable?

Many years ago, someone complained about skipping audio on a
quite performant PC. I replied that on my 150 MHz Pentium PC
with 128 MB RAM, I could play MP3 (non-skipping), burn a CD,
download FreeBSD sources, compile a port, and still have a
responsive web browser (Opera) in the foreground, so why
should that be a problem? :-)

> I've never had any use for these so-called
> "desktop environments", and I don't understand what the point of those
> is.

Many users coming from a "Windows" background depend on certain
things to exist. As long as the desktop provides an equivalent,
they're happy. Now compare this to users I once had coming from
a Solaris background, expecting something like CDE. What I did?
Configure XFCE (version 3) to look and feel like KDE, wether they
used a Linux or a BSD workstation. They were happy with it, and
it was faster than on the old Solaris boxes they left behind. :-)

> They seem to try to force you to do stuff in some more or less
> weird way someone apparently figured should be the way to do things ---
> but it isn't, and they're just getting in the way.

That is a significant problem during migration. People have to
"unlearn" the complicated ways they have acquired over the years,
and if you show them the easy way, they will feel enlightened.

Example: A few weeks ago, I had a user complaining that if he
opened a PDF file in "Windows 10", he sat infront of the machine
for nearly 30 minutes and didn't know how to close it. There was
no visual clue. I told him: "Try pressing Alt+F4." It worked. He
became interested and asked: "Are there more of those shortcuts?"
I gave him a list. He's more productive now, and he told me that
_this_ should be taught in the software courses.

The same "obscurity of dialog elements" applies to Gnome where
you need to _know_ something (because you can't see it) in order
to do something.

Another example: An accountant complained that her expensive
software would often cause needless printouts - waste of paper
that nobody needs. But deleting the printer queue with the GUI
elements often didn't go fast enough, so the nonsense was still
printed. I told her to open a terminal in parallel, and after
the program starts generating the "waste reports", enter "lprm -",
and repeat the command a few times if needed, until she could
click on the button to print the actually desired report. She
wanted to learn more, and now she's able to use "lpq" and "lprm"
on all the printers in the office.

> That's probably how
> you can not add program starters to Gnome: Someone must have figured
> that you must not start programs of your choosing with the required
> parameters, hence you can't.  Perhaps the next version doesn't have a
> terminal because nobody needs one and it's way too complicated anyway.

As far as I know, at least on some Ubuntu versions with Gnome 3,
there isn't a terminal in the dock on the left, and you need to
"explore apps" in order to find it, or maybe right-click to check
if "Open Terminal" is in the desktop's or top bar's context menu.

> At least if you manage to set up your keyboard right, you can still
> switch to the console until they remove that possibility, too.

Yes, that was also a problem. I configured a german keyboard
for all users centrally in the X configuration, and additionally
in the XML file buried deep in the /usr/local tree, for the
dreaded HAL/DBus combo. Gnome didn't care. It knew better, and
for all users, keyboard configuration had to be done manually
by clicking around. O(n) is worse than O(1), and _that_ is what
we have computers for. :-)

> Can you even switch when using wayland?  And how would you X11-forward
> something to a wayland session through ssh, should wayland ever work
> with NVIDIA cards?

You probably can't. My impression is that Wayland is "local only",
so the networking features of X aren't usable anymore. You can
probably still use some kind of VNC server / client...

> >> There's just nothing better than fvwm ...
> >
> > On my laptop I'm using IceWM (with "metal2" style which finally
> > includes a BSD start button, but at the top, where it belongs to)
> > again, combined with wbar and a Mac background image for a "good
> > look". ;-)
> >
> > On my home system, I found nothing better than a highly customized
> > WIndowMaker with xdm.
> Fvwm manages windows. All the other window managers I've tried force you
> to manage the windows yourself.

I was quite happy with fvwm, the only problem was that it stopped
supporting Alt+left click for moving windows (as this is very
convenient and works almost everywhere). So I tried to get the
configuration file to support it again, and sometimes it worked,
then stopped working, so I gave up and re-discovered IceWM with
the "metal2" theme. I don't care about the menu on the top left,
I don't configure that, because for the most important programs,
I have wbar at the bottom, and everything else is CLI work anyway,
so managing terminal windows is the biggest task IceWM performs.

> How are IceWM and Windowmaker in that regard?

WindowMaker is excellent, at least after you configured it according
to your needs. I have a keyboard with a 2x5 section left to the
alphanumeric section (Sun type 7 german, and IBM 5250 custom).
I use those for window manipulation, like rolling them up, shifting
them to another virtual desktop (very important!), changing foreground
and background ("stacking"), or maximizing (hardly done, because
on a 21" 4:3 CRT, you usually don't fullscreen).

But everything depends on configuration and how you get used to it.

I also tried tiling window managers (because people much more
professional than me use them all the time), but I'm too stupid
for them. I know what they do, what their intention is, and how
they work, but it just doesn't match my established workflow.
The same applies to emacs. ;-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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