History of gettext() et al?

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Hi all,

Does anyone know where gettext() (et al) originated from?
A quick google suggests it originated from the GNU project
in 1995, but the SunOS 4.1 manual set from 1990 I have here
also mentions it, so it obviously didn't originate at the FSF.

TIA,

-- 
Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

President,
Rite Online Inc.

Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
URL: http://www.rite-online.net
1
Reply Rich 11/7/2003 1:25:44 AM

See related articles to this posting


In article <Pine.SOL.4.58.0311061718000.10310@zaphod>,
Rich Teer  <rich.teer@rite-group.com> wrote:
>Hi all,
>
>Does anyone know where gettext() (et al) originated from?
>A quick google suggests it originated from the GNU project
>in 1995, but the SunOS 4.1 manual set from 1990 I have here
>also mentions it, so it obviously didn't originate at the FSF.

gettext() is from Sun - Somewhere around 1987.

-- 
EMail:joerg@schily.isdn.cs.tu-berlin.de (home) J�rg Schilling D-13353 Berlin
      js@cs.tu-berlin.de		(uni)  If you don't have iso-8859-1
      schilling@fokus.fraunhofer.de	(work) chars I am J"org Schilling
URL:  http://www.fokus.fraunhofer.de/usr/schilling ftp://ftp.berlios.de/pub/schily
0
Reply js 11/7/2003 11:19:04 AM

On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Joerg Schilling wrote:

> gettext() is from Sun - Somewhere around 1987.

Ah, GNU history revisionists at work again!

Cheers,

-- 
Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

President,
Rite Online Inc.

Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
URL: http://www.rite-online.net
0
Reply Rich 11/7/2003 6:04:46 PM

In article <Pine.SOL.4.58.0311071003390.10310@zaphod>,
Rich Teer  <rich.teer@rite-group.com> wrote:
>On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Joerg Schilling wrote:
>
>> gettext() is from Sun - Somewhere around 1987.
>
>Ah, GNU history revisionists at work again!

Or, to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it's the limitations of
"a quick google".

-- 
Barry Margolin, barry.margolin@level3.com
Level(3), Woburn, MA
*** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.
0
Reply Barry 11/7/2003 6:09:25 PM

On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Barry Margolin wrote:

> Or, to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it's the limitations of
> "a quick google".

In some circumstamces, certainly.  However, from this page:

	http://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/manual/html_node/gettext_219.html#SEC219

	This all began in July 1994, when Patrick D'Cruze had the idea and
	initiative of internationalizing version 3.9.2 of GNU fileutils. He
	then asked Jim Meyering, the maintainer, how to get those changes
	folded into an official release. That first draft was full of #ifdefs
	and somewhat disconcerting, and Jim wanted to find nicer ways. Patrick
	and Jim shared some tries and experimentations in this area. Then,
	feeling that this might eventually have a deeper impact on GNU, Jim
	wanted to know what standards were, and contacted Richard Stallman, who
	very quickly and verbally described an overall design for what was
	meant to become glocale, at that time.

	[...]

	While Jim took some distance and time and became dad for a second time,
	Roland wanted to get GNU libc internationalized, and got Ulrich Drepper
	involved in that project. Instead of starting from glocale, Ulrich
	rewrote something from scratch, but more conformant to the set of
	guidelines who emerged out of the glocale effort. Then, Ulrich got
	people from the previous forum to involve themselves into this new
	project, and the switch from glocale to what was first named msgutils,
	renamed nlsutils, and later gettext, became officially accepted by
	Richard in May 1995 or so.

	Let's summarize by saying that Ulrich Drepper wrote GNU gettext in
	April 1995. The first official release of the package, including PO
	mode, occurred in July 1995, and was numbered 0.7. Other people
	contributed to the effort by providing a discussion forum around
	Ulrich, writing little pieces of code, or testing. These are quoted in
	the THANKS file which comes with the GNU gettext distribution.

There's no mention of prior art.

-- 
Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

President,
Rite Online Inc.

Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
URL: http://www.rite-online.net
0
Reply Rich 11/7/2003 7:25:05 PM


Rich Teer wrote:
> On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Barry Margolin wrote:
> 
> 
>>Or, to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it's the limitations of
>>"a quick google".
> 
> 
> In some circumstamces, certainly.  However, from this page:
> 
> 	http://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/manual/html_node/gettext_219.html#SEC219
> 
> 	This all began in July 1994, when Patrick D'Cruze had the idea and

Well, I was going to start writing this message to back you up, since a
previous message mentioned some Sun documentation from 1987 and I was
able to find gettext in SunOS 3.5 circa 1986, *but* it was not related
to the present day gettext, so I figured you were correct.

However based on your latest post, I will have to disagree with you now that
you have given an actual date. I can state with certainty that the gettext
program as we know it now was indeed included in SunOS 4.1 at least as early
as 1990. Further, it was a part of the xpg library, which in general included
interfaces that were defined in an open standard (such as POSIX) that had
defined behavior that was incompatible with the regular library behaviors.
So gettext was no only in use by 1990, it's behavior was mandated by a standard
that probably used a prior implementation as its basis. This last may be
incorrect, because sometimes standard bodies come up with things cut
from whole cloth.

But as far a prior art relative to 1994, gettext was already here in 1990.

-- 
blu

Lesson from the blackout of 2003:
The power grid is THE most critical infrastructure, upon which all
others depend, and nobody really knows how it works.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brian Utterback - Solaris Sustaining (NFS/Naming) - Sun Microsystems Inc.,
Ph/VM: 781-442-1343, Em:brian.utterback-at-ess-you-enn-dot-kom

0
Reply Brian 11/7/2003 7:58:28 PM

Joerg Schilling (js@cs.tu-berlin.de) wrote:
: In article <Pine.SOL.4.58.0311061718000.10310@zaphod>,
: Rich Teer  <rich.teer@rite-group.com> wrote:
: >Hi all,
: >
: >Does anyone know where gettext() (et al) originated from?
: >A quick google suggests it originated from the GNU project
: >in 1995, but the SunOS 4.1 manual set from 1990 I have here
: >also mentions it, so it obviously didn't originate at the FSF.

: gettext() is from Sun - Somewhere around 1987.

Was Al Gore around 1968 when he was laying out the plans for the internet.

-bruce
bje@ripco.com
0
Reply bje 11/7/2003 9:17:54 PM

bje@ripco.com (Bruce Esquibel) writes:

> Joerg Schilling (js@cs.tu-berlin.de) wrote:
> : In article <Pine.SOL.4.58.0311061718000.10310@zaphod>,
> : Rich Teer  <rich.teer@rite-group.com> wrote:
> : >Hi all,
> : >
> : >Does anyone know where gettext() (et al) originated from?
> : >A quick google suggests it originated from the GNU project
> : >in 1995, but the SunOS 4.1 manual set from 1990 I have here
> : >also mentions it, so it obviously didn't originate at the FSF.
> 
> : gettext() is from Sun - Somewhere around 1987.
> 
> Was Al Gore around 1968 when he was laying out the plans for the internet.

I began writing computer programs in 1968.  *Internet*? Are you sure
you did not mean 1986?  And who is that Al Gore, BTW?

-- 
Maurizio Loreti                         http://www.pd.infn.it/~loreti/mlo.html
Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Padova, Italy              ROT13: ybergv@cq.vasa.vg
0
Reply Maurizio 11/7/2003 9:53:44 PM

On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Brian Utterback wrote:

> However based on your latest post, I will have to disagree with you now that
> you have given an actual date. I can state with certainty that the gettext
> program as we know it now was indeed included in SunOS 4.1 at least as early
> as 1990. Further, it was a part of the xpg library, which in general included

That means that we agree!  :-)

-- 
Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

President,
Rite Online Inc.

Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
URL: http://www.rite-online.net
0
Reply Rich 11/7/2003 10:15:13 PM

At Fri, 07 Nov 2003 01:25:44 GMT, Rich Teer <rich.teer@rite-group.com> writes:

> Does anyone know where gettext() (et al) originated from?

Sun originated most of the API, and it was a Uniforum proposed
standard.  gettext lost out to catgets in the standardization wars for
some reason, but most free software uses gettext in preference to
catgets.

Thanks to Bruno Haible, the GNU gettext tools these days are much
better than Solaris's; Sun has pretty much stood still while the GNU
folks overtook it.  I think the GNU API is pretty much a superset of
Sun's now (e.g., better support for pluralization).
0
Reply Paul 11/7/2003 10:35:14 PM

At Fri, 07 Nov 2003 19:25:05 GMT, Rich Teer <rich.teer@rite-group.com> writes:

> There's no mention of prior art.

There should be.  I've sent the following patch to the gettext
maintainer.  Thanks for bringing this up.

2003-11-07  Paul Eggert  <eggert@twinsun.com>

	* gettext.texi (History): Give a tip of the hat to Sun's
	UniForum proposal.

===================================================================
RCS file: gettext-tools/doc/gettext.texi,v
retrieving revision 0.12.1.0
retrieving revision 0.12.1.1
diff -pu -r0.12.1.0 -r0.12.1.1
--- gettext-tools/doc/gettext.texi	2003/05/05 09:09:21	0.12.1.0
+++ gettext-tools/doc/gettext.texi	2003/11/07 23:11:00	0.12.1.1
@@ -8513,6 +8513,10 @@ from Patrick and Richard, of course, but
 MacKenzie, Fran@,{c}ois Pinard, and Paul Eggert, all pushing and
 pulling in various directions, not always compatible, to the extent
 that after a couple of test releases, @code{glocale} was torn apart.
+Paul suggested in October 1994 that GNU applications should use the
+simpler @code{gettext} API proposed by Sun to the UniForum Technical
+Subcommittee on I18n and originally implemented in Solaris, and this
+API eventually won out over the alternatives.
 
 While Jim took some distance and time and became dad for a second
 time, Roland wanted to get GNU @code{libc} internationalized, and
0
Reply Paul 11/7/2003 11:25:44 PM

On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Paul Eggert wrote:

> Thanks to Bruno Haible, the GNU gettext tools these days are much
> better than Solaris's; Sun has pretty much stood still while the GNU
> folks overtook it.  I think the GNU API is pretty much a superset of
> Sun's now (e.g., better support for pluralization).

I think that's pretty much correct.  Solaris 9 includes the
GNU gettext implementation.

And thanks for sending that note to the gettext maintainer!

-- 
Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

President,
Rite Online Inc.

Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
URL: http://www.rite-online.net
0
Reply Rich 11/8/2003 12:56:43 AM

On Sat, 08 Nov 2003 00:56:43 GMT Rich Teer <rich.teer@rite-group.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Paul Eggert wrote:
>
>> Thanks to Bruno Haible, the GNU gettext tools these days are much
>> better than Solaris's; Sun has pretty much stood still while the GNU
>> folks overtook it.  I think the GNU API is pretty much a superset of
>> Sun's now (e.g., better support for pluralization).
>
> I think that's pretty much correct.  Solaris 9 includes the
> GNU gettext implementation.

An older one though, IIRC.

I remember going ahead and building the GNU stuff anyway and linking
GNU programs against it, instead of the installed software -- to ensure
that those apps ran the same way on both Solaris and other platforms.

/fc
0
Reply Frank 11/8/2003 3:23:39 AM

In comp.unix.solaris Paul Eggert <eggert@twinsun.com> wrote:

> Thanks to Bruno Haible, the GNU gettext tools these days are much
> better than Solaris's; Sun has pretty much stood still while the GNU
> folks overtook it.  I think the GNU API is pretty much a superset of
> Sun's now (e.g., better support for pluralization).

If it were actually a superset, rather than "pretty much", that would be
simple enough to verify by side-by-side comparison.

-- 
Thomas E. Dickey
http://invisible-island.net
ftp://invisible-island.net
0
Reply Thomas 11/9/2003 5:48:06 PM
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