[development] Drupal 6 vs. language support

Gabor Hojtsy gabor at hojtsy.hu
Wed May 16 08:01:42 UTC 2007

Frederik 'Freso' S. Olesen wrote:
> 2007/5/15, Gabor Hojtsy <gabor at hojtsy.hu>:
>> What is in Drupal 6 for multilanguage support:
>>  - "locales" are replaced by "languages" (we know a lot more about
>>    languages: their native names, direction (RTL or LTR), languages
>>    can be weighted, we use the new BCP 47 language codes, etc)
> Can you provide a link to the discussion about this?
> Personally, I find that the above makes no sense. Locales are
> per-culture, languages are... per-language. Localisation is more than
> just translating, it's also about improving useability for a given
> locale (using colour codes and symbols familiar to locale comes to
> mind). Also, locale codes are partly defined by language
> (language_LOCALE), so all the language stuff you know about, you'd
> still know about given a locale.
> (I recall localisation being brought up for the issue regarding "*
> Required", which would, IIRC, be an excellent case for an argument of
> localisation vs. pure translation.)
> But, well, if you can link me to the discussion, I might be convinced
> it was a good move. :)

Frederik, our locale.module is misnamed in this context. Drupal itself 
has no strong support for localization in the sense of supporting 
different number formatting, colors, currencies and so on, it never had. 
Drupal has support for languages. The fact that we renamed part of what 
locale module uses/does is hopefully helping clean up this possible 
confusion. Now we use the 'locale' name for interface translation stuff 
and 'language' for system level language support. Locale is still not 
correct there, but it was there and some separation was required.

So by renaming the "locales" to "languages" at the same time we 
*expanded on* language support to enable themes to support RTL scripts, 
use native names of the languages and so on. We still did nothing about 
actually supporting the real intricacies of locales behind languages, we 
did not add any features on this front, nor did we remove anything.

BTW there is no such thing named *locale codes* used on the web. We 
support the latest and greatest in standards around *language codes*, 
BCP 47.


More information about the development mailing list