thunderbird in German?

hw hw at
Wed Aug 7 00:44:45 UTC 2019

Polytropon <freebsd at> writes:

> 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.

That's only true when you´re referring to words nobody reckons.  What is
the German word for "segmentation fault"?  You're gona have a hard time
even only translating "fault" because there is no such frame of mind in
German as to translate it.

When you realise that language --- though being created every time it is
being used --- is a requirement for recognition, and that language is
always bound to the particular frame of mind which is itself bound to
the language, you can see that it is impossible to give any good
translation into any language as long as the target language is not
bound to a suitable frame of mind.  The frame of mind doesn't come to be
without words that are reckoned.

It's like reading documentation: The documentation may be great, yet you
aren't the wiser reading it because you need to read and to understand
it before you can understand it.  I usually solve that by reading it
more and reading it again and understanding it eventually.  That's what
you have to do with language.  Tranlsating is basically bullshit because
you can't reckon what is being said anyway unless you understand it
without translating.  That you can listen to someone telling you how to
ride a bike doesn't mean you could ride one.

> 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?"

The problem isn't the lack of translations, it's more the lack of

> In many cases, the translation, if it exists, is sloppy and contains
> lots of errors in many aspects (especially spelling and punctuation),

That's because ppl don't realize what I said above and attempt to
translate something they do not understand and without giving the reader
anything about the frame of mind which the reader would need to become
able to understand it eventually.  If ppl were doing it right, they
might have to write 500 or 50000 pages about the historical, cultural
and technical context in order to enable the reader to understand the
one page that is to be translated.

> 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_...

The problem isn't that they are not sure how to write something.  The
language skills have deteriorated with the rapidly declining
intelligence of the population in general, which goes on for many
reasons, like schools utterly designed to keep the students as stupid as
they can being only one of them.  This is not surprising for the
population can be kept under control the easier the more stuid it is.

>> 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.

What's the German word for "idle"?  "When the computer is idle ..." also
does not give any explanation for what "idle" means (and it remains
unclear whether you mean "if" or "when").

> 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. :-)

What doesn it mean when the computer is "idle"?  Does that correspond to
a particular C-state, a particular frequency a number of CPUs have
assumed, so many interrupts being processed per second --- or to the
computer doing nothing (instead of running a name server) while driving
10 VMs which are more or less "idle"? Or something else?

> 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.

Programs are still in English.  Or has someone invented a German
programming language and lots of programmers use it?  Has there been a
German operating system been developed?

Don't forget the lazyness ...

>> 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. :-)

That is not a word, and suggesting that "memory" had anything to do with
"Speicher" is just another misconception that tries to ignore the frame
of mind in lack of one.

> 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".

See, there is no such frame of mind.

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

Did one ever say that?

>> 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.

"Segmentierung" is not a German word.  "Fault" is intentionally vague
here; if it didn't sound so bad and if it were fitting the frame of
mind, it would probably be called "segmentation mistake".  Again you
need to understand the frame of mind to understand why it isn't called
that.  And then there is that computers never make mistakes, so of
course they can't have segmentation mistakes ...

You can be creative and call it "Aufteilungsversehen".  It's even better
because it doesn't involve "Speicher" like it doesn't to begin with, yet
it is still meaningless.

>> > 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.

I see what you mean by "for reference".

> [...]
>> > 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.

perhaps that version was less buggy

>> 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.

Linux is rather bloated nowadays even without things like KDE.

> 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?

Do they work as intended anywhere?  You can always replace the graphics

> 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? :-)

That must have been _many_ years ago ... and 128MB is a gigantic amount
of RAM.  How many boards suported that much?

>> 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.

They could just learn a few things and use something far better.

> 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. :-)

Nowadays you could use CDE ...

>> 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.
> [...]
> 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 what I mean, the "desktop environment" tries to force you to do
something in some way and thus only gets in the way.

There are very few programs that benefit from a GUI; Gimp comes to mind,
and, perhaps and if you can find one, a good file manager for some
things.  Doing stuff with images without a GUI would be somewhat
difficult, and a GUI file manager can sometimes help visualizing things.

Almost all other programs have only one way of benefitting from a GUI:
they reside alongside other programs in their windows on the screen,
making it easy for me to switch between them.  If it wasn't for that, I
might use the console more or less always.  And I never figured out the
weird UI of mc.

>> 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.

You have to search for it with Fedoras Gnome version, too.  I can't
really do anything without a terminal, especially when I can't have
program starters and when the window manager can not be configured.

So what is the point of "desktop environments" other than getting in the

>> 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. :-)

that is simply unacceptable

Have you never noticed that you have to get keyboard for the console set
up right before you can switch?

>> 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...

Being able to forward is a requirement.

>> >> 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).

It's not useful when you use the trackball with the left hand.  I'm
using AltGr instead --- though I don't see why you shoudn't be able to
make a key binding for it if it was removed.

> So I tried to get the configuration file to support it again, and
> sometimes it worked, then stopped working,

Did you play with the NumLock key?

> 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.

You might like i3.  Yet fvwm can do tiling as well, and I'm finding a
floating WM better because the tiling one kinda gets all windows stuck
and makes it really difficult to have them in all kinds of sizes just
how and where you want them.  That way, I get the best of both worlds
because I can use tiling when I want to and not when I don't.

>> 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).

Is that the one with 24 function keys?  I have a Unicomp one with 24
function keys and some on the left, but it's an American version.  I put
some emacs key bindings on those keys on the left, but then the problem
was to remember which key does what.  It's much easier to use the same
keyboard and default key bindings everywhere, and I currently have that.

> 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).

You're still using a CRT?  Isn't it worn out yet?

I never thought of using these keys to do something with windows.
They're on the wrong side of the keyboard for that.

Besides, the idea is that I don't need to do anything with windows.  The
window manager does it for me, it's its job to do that.  I switch desks
and sometimes stacking order, sometimes I might move a window or let the
WM replace it, and that's it.

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

It also depends on the abilities of the WM.  Like the one Gnome forces
upon you has no abilities, and that makes Gnome unusable.  I'll never
understand why anyone would put any effort into a window manager that
isn't only totally useless in itself but also makes all the rest of the
"desktop environment" it is supposed to serve just as useless ...  Why
didn't they at least make the WM replacable like it used to be?

> 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.

It takes some getting used to.  I went back from i3 because at the time
I tried it, i3 couldn't do sticky floating windows.  That was fixed
later, but as I had discovered that fvwm can do tiling, there was no
reason to go back --- and like I said, I have the best of both worlds

> The same applies to emacs. ;-)

I would say that for vi, I just don't get along with it.  Actually, vi
has been particularly nasty in FreeBSD because for unknown reasons,
sometimes I can't delete a character.  Ctrl-d writes ^D on the screen,
and neither Del, nor Backspace work.  It works just fine in emacs ...

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