thunderbird in German?

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri Aug 9 11:18:42 UTC 2019

On Wed, 07 Aug 2019 01:09:28 +0200, hw wrote:
> 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.

That is correct. You basically need two elements:

1. Without context, "fault" doesn't make sense to be translated
"as is", as there are many possible meanings, from "schuld sein"
to "Störfall".

2. YOu cannot simply translate word for word, hoping to keep some
of the original meaning. This is basically what you get when you
run text through automated translation, or even human translation
with the translating human not having access to context.

Here is one of my favorites from a digital video recorder:

	Sprache: Deutscher
	Wolke verbinden
	Qualität: gut, schlimmer, noch schlimmer, schlecht
	General Kameraeinstellungen
	Irahmen Abstand
	verbinden Sie den Hauptdatenstrom
	öffnen Sie die entsprechenden
	lokaler Video

Some things you can guess, others you can conclude, but what
value has "Irahmen Abstand" (iframe distance?) for the user?
None. Or what does happen when I open "die entsprechenden"?
Die entsprechenden WAS?

> 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.

This is why people who use multiple languages tend to think
in that language when they write, just as I'm in "English mode"
as I'm writing this, and this mode is totally different from
the "German mode" I'd use otherwise.

> > 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
> documentation.

Let's say the lack of _good_ and _current_ documentation.
Just like creating software, creating documentation is hard
work that tends to be put in the last pages of the schedule
(if there is one)...

> > 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. 

In fact, it _is_ - it's both a part of the problem and a symptom
of how the society in general fails to enable people to acquire
one of the most fundamental social abilities. And it's not even
that people recognize that problem: They assume their language
skills are up to date, but when put under a test, it can be
proven that they aren't. (Sidenote: I did some research on that
topic many years ago.)

> 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.

Richard Feynman: "What I cannot create, I do not understand."
Creation is (more or less) the opposite of consumtion, which,
in increasing amount, is required (or _claimed_ to be required)
for the society to survive and to work at all. Without the
knowledge that this isn't true, there's nothing to do about it.

> >> 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").

The "idle" example is something I got first hand when I was at
the university.

Tutor: "... and this will be performed when the main loop is idle."

Student: "What does 'idle' mean?"

Tutor: "'Idle' is when the computer is idle."

Now you know it. ;-)

Again, the frame of mind, the context matters on how to translate
"idle". In this case, it's even a bit harder because there is no
"one word" I could imagine that conveys the meaning of "a system
that is idle, i. e., which does not have processing load at the

> > 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.

I'm talking about the availability of programs developed for
german users (i. e., with a "natural" german user interface, from
the beginning), or programs with the option to switch to the
german language, like Thunderbird. German users prefer german

> Or has someone invented a German
> programming language and lots of programmers use it?  Has there been a
> German operating system been developed?

Yes, but in the past, many decades ago, and nobody knows about
it (except me, because I'm a living museum)... ;-)

> Don't forget the lazyness ...

Lazyness is why I don't want to learn the slightest english words,
but expect everything everywhere in German, and the program must
look and behave like the pirated version I had 20 years ago. :-)

> >> 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.

In my opinion and experience, that translation is acceptable,
even though the concept of "segmentation" is lost, but the
basic meaning is still intact, unlike "Segmentierungsstörung"
which is more or less a "correct" translation ("word-wise"),
but in the end, nonsense.

"Memory" has many meanings, from "Gedächtnis" to "Speicher"
and "Erinnerung". "Speicher" is the established terminus
technicus in German, so it's the appropriate base for a
compound word.

Or what would you suggest?

I still remember the word "Gültigkeitsbereichszugriffsoperator"
from Borland C... :-)

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

I think this is the result of not reading what's on the screen,
like "Did the computer provide you an error message?" - "Yes,
but I didn't read it, because it's all just words and letters."
The "illegal abortion" is probably "illegal instruction" and
"program abort".

Anyway, when I write a program, I'll make sure it will accuse
the user of illegal abortion when an error appers. :-)

> >> 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.

It is, derived from "Segment", from latin "segmentum". THe
suffix "-ierung" indicates an act based on the main 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".

Note there's also the TT "segmentation violation", which
is a harsher tone.

> 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.

Well, "Versehen" sounds much more like "happy accident", and
it doesn't fit the context.

> > [...]
> >> > 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

Yes, I think so. And it could be installed, configured,
maintained and operated by novice users.

> >> 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.

You're refering to systemd? Run away, the guys with the pitchforks
and torches are coming! ;-)

> > 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
> card.

Not in a laptop.

> > 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?

It _was_ many years ago, FreeBSD 4.0 was running on that system.
Initially there were 4 * 16 MB EDO, later 4 * 32 MB EDO.

> >> 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.

Learning is not an option.

Changes are not acceptable.

> > 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 ...

Yes, I've seen that it is available now, but who would want
to use CDE, except time travelers? :-)

> >> 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.

Yes, at least that's my impression with nearly every desktop
system I try. There'll always be something that's annoying,
incomplete, buggy, or not available at all, and you cannot
do anything about it.

> 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.

I'm a big fan of the Midnight Commander, it's one of my most
primary tools. The interface (layout, keys, menues, etc.) is
so hardcoded into my mind that everything "just works".

For your inspiration: The interface maps a "source target concept"
to a TUI. Common operations like copying or moving have a source
and a target. Both can be managed independently, and much more
convenient than with two file manager windows open, or using
the "sorting tree" on the left. The concept of using the edit
buffer (!!!) for file manipulation (cutting and copying files
using the means intended to cut and copy text or graphics) is,
in my opinion, one of the wrongestest things ever invented. :-)

> >> 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?

No, didn't occur to me. Worked out of the box for decades...

> >> 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.

Not in a single-PC single-user single-program single-window
single-task setup which seems to be more and more common.

> >> >> 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?

No. Should I?

> > 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.

I'm far too stupid for tiling WMs, in the same way I'm too
stupid to use emacs. The essence of this confession is not
that those programs are crap, but I just don't understand
them well enough to make them part of my workflow.

> >> 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?

Yes. Both 3270 and 5250 have them, but the 5250s can be
attached directly to the computer (PS/2 plug) or with a
PS/2->USB converter. The keyboard has two modes, selectable
by a jumper inside. In "PC mode", certain keys cause a
specific key combination, which often isn't desired, that's
why "raw mode" is better: Each key emits a specific code,
and it can be programmed to do anything, with tools like
xmodmap and xbindkeys (or whatever modern X uses).

This is how it looks like:

           [_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_]                     -  -  -

[_][_]  [_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][____]  [_][_][_]  [_][_][_][_]
[_][_]  [__][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][   ]  [_][_][_]  [_][_][_][_]
[_][_]  [___][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][__]     [_]     [_][_][_][_]
[_][_]  [__][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][_][______]  [_][_][_]  [_][_][_][ ]
[_][_]  [___]  [___][___________________][___]  [___]     [_]     [____][_][_]

The only thing I've changes is the "cursor cross" to a
"cursor upside-down T" which is more convenient. The key
in the middle is now the down key. The original down key
has been removed and sealed.

As I said, programmable. Fully.

> > 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?

No, it still works as if it was new. It's an EIZO FlexScan F980,
21" 4:3 CRT.

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

In my case, it's perfect, and my motoric memory lets my hand
move off regular keyboards to the left where I "expect" the
key to switch to fullscreen, roll up the window, start a
terminal, or lock the system. :-)

> > 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?

Because Gnome is intended as a "monolithic environment", where
a predefined set of tools is to be used, as they're interwoven
and interdependent. Removing a part is not possible because it
would probably crash the whole thing. Sure, you can change the
colors and the icon themes, but you can't change the window
manager. Or the login manager. Or anything else of importance.

> > 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 ...

Those keys seem to need additional configuration added to the
C shell's initialisation file, given that this is your login
shell (assumption, because it's the default interactive shell
on FreeBSD).

Maybe you can try those:

	bindkey ^? delete-char		# for console
	bindkey ^[[3~ delete-char	# for xterm

The first one probably isn't needed anymore because the system
console now speaks xterm (and not cons25l1).

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

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