Missing localization in Deskbar

Posted this under a different thread where it admittedly didn’t fit in :wink:. But since I’m curious about it anyway I decided to open a new one.

For quite some time I’ve been wondering why the submenu names in Deskbar (Applications, Preferences) are not localized. Seems like a fairly easy thing to do. Is there any technical problem with this that I’m not aware of or is it not wanted for some reason?

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Why to locate? English is a world wide language and people should know that this me means.

Documentation and tutorials are complicated too, then they have so much diffent names.

That’s not an argument. Either the whole thing is translated or nothing. Half this half that is sure not an option. Maybe someone with a technical understanding explains this behaviour.


Mandarin is spoken about as much as english, so i vote to use it instead, it looks pretier. :)


Well, the rest of the operating system and most of the applications are localized. And so is the user guide. I would follow your argumentation if we were talking about the actual application names, but I see no reason why the menu names should not be localized.


This post makes no sense so much.


The reason why those are not translated is probably because they are just folders being displayed there. That makes it a bit tricky to handle it I guess.

Other OS handle similar cases in different way, none is fully satisfying IMHO. Several options:

  1. Do not translate it at all (status quo). Pro: The application folders stay the same on all systems. E.g. you can rely on a link being put into /boot/home/config/settings/deskbar/menu/Applications showing up in the application menu. Con: No translation, system partly not localized.

  2. Actually rename the folders based on locale. Pro: Nicely translated folder names. Con: The paths themselves change, so you need some way for applications to get the actual path and applications must honor this. You also need to specify what happens if users change locale (should folders get renamed or stay as they were?)

    Older Windows did this a lot, causing all kind of problems with applications using hard coded English path names. On Linux xdg-user-dirs handles this for some special user folders (Desktop, Documents, Music etc.). It works surprisingly well in practice there, somehow they managed to have a lot of software honor this.

  3. Have pre-defined, English path names, but display them localized in the UI. Windows 10 does this, e.g. the actual path might be C:\Users\tim\Documents, but it gets displayed at C:\Benutzer\tim\Dokumente. Still can be horrible confusing sometimes.

IMHO for the use case presented here for localizing the deskbar entries something like the third approach might actually work. It would just handle translation of the four standard folders in the menu (Applications, Demos, Desktop applets and Preferences). If the user creates any other folder it would be shown as is. Still could sometimes confuse people if they see an Application folder when they navigate to /boot/home/config/settings/deskbar/menu/ in Tracker, but it is shown as “Anwendungen” in the deskbar menu.

Or someone comes up with option 4: The clever Haiku way to handle this better than anyone else :smiley: Unfortunately I don’t have a good idea about this myself.


That’s a good point, I had forgotten that these are actually folders.

Not sure if thats the case but here’s how I would do it: Leave the menu folder names (Applications, Preferences) in English and only translate them in Deskbar. So you get a consistently localized appearance, but avoid the confusion with localized folder names when you actually are dealing with them in Tracker.

I agree with the rest of your assessment, especially that renaming folders based on locale is very inconvient (Ubuntu Linux does that) and localized folder names in the file manager is also very confusing (like on Windows 10 or Mac OS)

Could the BeFS attributes help? I believe the Tracker uses some predefined attributes for files/folders. What if the Deskbar added translation attributes to the folders and used the value of the attribute as the menu item name? If the attribute does not exist then the folder name would be used.

Changing localization would only change the attributes, so the pathname remains intact.


Better keyboard access for the Deskbar could be another option…
Be aware if you translate the Deskbar Keyboard shortcuts are changing too!

I think that’s exactly what I described above :smiley: It’s basically option 3.

Almost :wink:
In Windows 10, which you use to describe option 3, the user folder (and others) gets localized in windows explorer. What I propose is leaving the folder names unlocalized in Tracker (which is roughly the Haiku equivalent of windows explorer) but only localize them in Deskbar. That’s a small but significant difference. When using deskbar the user has probably no idea that the application and preference menus are actually folders so they most likely don’t care that the names are different than in the filesystem. When opening Tracker to deal with the folders directly you get to see the names as they are in the filesystem (not localized), so no confusion.

Which is exactly what I wrote above

Alright, must have misread it then :slight_smile:

I guess at any given time something confuses somebody :slight_smile:

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A known issue: ticket #10200.


@phw and @BlueSky, option 3 looks like a good idea to me as well.