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The command:
make prog.msg
will generate the message text source file prog.msg. The command:
make prog. cat
will generate the message catalog prog. cat from the message text source
file prog .msg. Also see the "make Example", in Appendix B for another
illustration of this procedure.
Guidelines for Using Messaging
Here are some overall guidelines which you should keep in mind when
programming for messages.
• Provide a cookbook for the translator which contains the numbered messages
and, carefully separated (e.g, by brackets), any additional explanatory
information or paraphrase they may need. A message that is obvious to you
may be a mystery to a translator. You should assume that the translator:
Has a different native language from yours.
2. Is hundreds or thousands of kilometers away from you.
3. Is doing the translation months or years after you finish the program.
• All text that needs to be localized should be put in the message catalog.
This includes: prompts, help text, error messages, format strings, softkey
definitions, and command names.
• Any text that will not be localized should not be put in the message catalog.
Including unnecessary text will not affect the program behavior but it may
be confusing to a translator.
• Provide a unique, unambiguous message for each situation. A single message
in your own language may appear to cover several different situations.
However, when the message is translated into another language, each
different situation may require a different local language translation.
• Do not split messages into separate messages in a message catalog unless
absolutely necessary. The messages could be untranslatable if the word order
changes when translated. If messages absolutely must be split, do so in a
The Message Catalog System 7-25


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