Should the built-in folders and apps be translated in Deskbar?

While working on the italian translation, I’ve noticed that the built-in folders (Preferences, Applications, Desktop Applets…) and system application names (Repositories, Screens…) are not translated in Deskbar.

Some of these strings (around 20%) are in catkeys, but I see that other translators leave them unchanged.

I was wondering if this is deliberately choice or not and, if this is the case, I would proporse to think a bit about it as to me it seems to tune down the overal user experience.


This is not what I’ve said. Pls, I’m a newbie and non-dev, but I’m not stupid.

I’ve said that I’ve seen that lot of translators leave folders and application names unchanged in Pottle.

In facts, setting the Locale option has almost no effect.

Haiku provides the option to localise the folder and program names, so it is the decision of the translator team to use it or not, as not useful in every language. Ask the italian translator team and fix the catkeys if needed.

There’s no italian translator team anymore :stuck_out_tongue: I’ve take overed the italian translation duties as all the old members are missing in action without leaving guidelines :wink:

Then ask yourself :sunny:

Ok, I’ve totally fixed the untranslated system names. Folders are not translated, though, unregarding the catkeys (waiting for the next string sync, to be sure)

Anyway, the actual installer/locale behaviour let to inconsistencies.

This because there’s the locale option to switch on/off translations in system names.

But very often the system names are also hardcoded in additional strings for ex.

You can run NetworkStatus in a window or install it in the Deskbar.

When the user turn off system name translations, she is going to end reading both the translated and untranslated version.

There’s been a long standing bug here: ticket #10387

With regard to an application name being mentioned in the code, like the alert you cite, I’m not sure the amount of code to check the local-app-name-setting of the locale is worth it.
I’d suggest to avoid it completely and go with

You can run this applet in a window or install it in the Deskbar.

Not quite as nice, but…

Bad Idea, IMHO. This is going to end to be terribly complicated when an application makes a references to another application (for ex. the Installer referring to the Drive Setup).

And with this workaround there is the risk the malfunction to be unnoticed and buried forever.

I’m going to record a bug for this. A low low low low priority bug, but a bug.

Probably, the only way is to span the sourcecode and replace all the hardcoded variables names with parameters. This is something I could help fixing in the future, in my c++ learning path perhaps.

Go ahead. But I doubt we use app names in strings often. Even Installer doesn’t reference “DriveSetup”.,target&unit=111821

not often, but better safe than sorry :slight_smile:

Oh, right… the “EULA”. Forgot about that one…

Hello I have the same situation with the spanish translations. It’s a very subjective topic, but in general, I tried to leave the original english name, unless the app name had a equivalent translation that are widely adopted.

For example, the “Trash / Recycling bin” have a very common translation in spanish, that are adopted too from spanish versions of Windows / MacOS.

However, “Tracker”, don’t have an equivalent in spanish.

Also, nearly all the Haiku information available in internet are in english, so maybe changing names could make more difficult to understand.

A good middle-point could be translate the app name, but keeping the english names between brackets. For example:

“… abrir papelera de reciclaje (Trash bin)…”

Being spanish i see this as F-ugly.

Folder names (as in Downloads, Videos, Files, Documentation, … ) would be good to be translated visually for the user, if you could still access internally to them using the english path (as in /boot/home/Desktop and not as /boot/home/Escritorio)

Also common use terms like trash bin, which is not an app per se, would be good.

But translate app names? Nope. There is no gain from turning “PoorMan” into “Pobre” nor having “WebPositiva”.


I think translating app names is a bad idea.

App names in many cases present themselves in combination with an icon that was designed for it. The icon can have a supportive/clarifying function to the default English name of the app. It can even be a pun on the name, like is the case with ‘SerialConnect’ for example.

In many app name translations this relationship between icon and name would be severed and as a result the icon would suffer in significance and could even add confusion.

Translating only some app names is also a bad idea as it brings inconsistency to the OS, which makes a poor impression (patchwork).

Also, I think it’s an underestimation of the user to assume he/she would be totally left in the dark if app names were not translated.

And in the case of translating only some app names it’s impossible to know beforehand which app names are going to be understood by the user (and don’t need translation) and which are not going to be understood (and need translation), so that introduces an additional risk of misunderstanding and inconsistency.

I think I’ve awaken a Leviathan :smiley:


The icon cannot be the primary way to identify the function of an app, for several reasons:

  1. No digital guidelines exist for application visual. This means you’re not going to know in advance how the developers are going to represent their apps. Visual Recognition is a subjective task, depending on their age, location, heritage (think about a millennial looking at the SoundRecorder icon).

  2. Not all users are guaranteed to be able to use visual elements on the GUI. Think about blind or visual impaired users. Ok, Haiku has not accessibility features yet, but it could have in the future and having tons of apps to visually fix that day looks like a pain in the neck to me.

  3. UX trends says that users are switching to (natural language) quick launch behaviours. This is because they are used to their smartphones vocal assistants and we have overcrowded start menus on our computers nowdays. Users find apps by names/types rather than mouse drilling very often. Ofc Haiku has not a vocal assistant (in future who knows?), but a evolved QuickLaunch is something realistic and btw having a consistent app basename for these days to come is useful.

English Names

I disagree. You cannot make assumptions on how well the usersbase is supposed to know the english language. Atm the Haiku userbase is quite geeky, but this could (hopefully) changes in future. Perhaps european users are ok with english (and i’m not sure either), but what about all others?

I agree: translating just some names and no other is a mess.
But applications which are installed by no choice when you install Haiku must be translated. Take the Installer notice unit #447876

[…] You can also set up partitions by launching DriveSetup from Installer, but you won’t be able to resize existing partitions with it. While DriveSetup has been quite thoroughly tested over the years […]

Does it look ok to the newbie?

Applications not installed by default

Application you install by choice could have untranslated names because it’s supposed you know what you’re going to install. Nobody says that VLC, Firefox, Skype or Slack must have a localized name!

This could be nice on educational material (user guides, tutorials…) but it looks a bit too verbose into the UI to me.

Iconic elements

Then, we have some applications in the middle. I’m talking about very iconic Haiku elements like Deskbar, Trackbar, WebPositive. This is like “Edge” on Windows 10.

They IMHO should be left untraslated, but some visual identity efforts must be thought on them to make them iconic and not ambiguos to the end (new) user. User guides, tutorials, even marketing stuff could be devoted to reinforcing this idea.

It was nice to have geeky names in BeOS in the past. It makes you part of a community. But 18 years are passed since them and how the users interact with the computer is changed.

CodyCam, Icon-o-matic and Poorman were funny names, but their meaningless names have not aged well IMHO. They are installed by default.

Or maybe the names are ok, but they could not be installed by default (think about PoorMan, for example). But this is another subject.

Preflets and system folders in Trackbar, tutorials and so on…

I strongly think that preflets should be translated as they are inner part of the operating systems and they have generic meaning (or they should have). Same for the system folders in Trackbar.

If this is the case, the controversial Locale setting could apply only on those elements to be consistent to the above.

This could be true, but it should not be the primary reason on how to craft a standard into the OS. If the user has problem to find the button when looking on an English tutorial, he can temporarly switch the locale.
Marketing efforts should also help here.

And again, you cannot know if this would be true in the future…

Having a guideline

When trying to decide how to translate those elements, I’ve checked how other translators have decided so far and I was able to see that…it’s a mess! A guidelines is needed.

This doesn’t need to be rigid. In italian “computer” is right word, but in spanish, “ordenador” is the most common word. Translators need some degrees of freedom.

But a standard is IMHO needed :slight_smile:

EDIT: some typo fixing and wrong spanish spelling

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I didn’t say or suggest ‘primary’, I said ‘supportive/clarifying’.

Ok, there’s something to be said for that. In that case, it would be much better to translate this section of the Haiku User Guide: Applications
Less work, less confusion, less misunderstanding, less mess.

Why ‘must’? Says who? Your concerns for the group of users you have in mind can simply be addressed by translating the section of the user guide I linked to above, and making sure it’s one of the first things these people see after installing Haiku the first time.

I don’t know if the application descriptions from HaikuDepot are translatable in Pootle, but that would be a good idea for that group of users you have in mind.

Right word is Ordenador

Still, it’s something you cannot put under control. Some wise devs will end up using a coherent visual, but others will not. This is risky to assume, by design.

This revamps an old thread I read in the past: shall we assume that the user should RTFM before doing things (like Linux) or not (like OSX or Win)? Haiku probably is in the middle (not reading a quick tour you won’t notice the stack-and-tile for ex.). The question here is if there’s “room” for system applications in a quick tour…

I didn’t want to be rude. Ofc this is only my idea

Yes, this would really help. Dunno if these strings are translatable. I don’t think they are in Pottle atm.

PS sorry for my spanish spelling

I suspect this was an accidental merging of French “ordinateur” and Spanish.