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1.2 INSTALL Matters

Some packages are localizable when properly installed; the programs they contain can be made to speak your own native language. Most such packages use GNU gettext. Other packages have their own ways to internationalization, predating GNU gettext.

By default, this package will be installed to allow translation of messages. It will automatically detect whether the system already provides the GNU gettext functions. If not, the included GNU gettext library will be used. This library is wholly contained within this package, usually in the ‘intl/’ subdirectory, so prior installation of the GNU gettext package is not required. Installers may use special options at configuration time for changing the default behaviour. The commands:

./configure --with-included-gettext
./configure --disable-nls

will, respectively, bypass any pre-existing gettext to use the internationalizing routines provided within this package, or else, totally disable translation of messages.

When you already have GNU gettext installed on your system and run configure without an option for your new package, configure will probably detect the previously built and installed ‘libintl.a’ file and will decide to use this. This might not be desirable. You should use the more recent version of the GNU gettext library. I.e. if the file ‘intl/VERSION’ shows that the library which comes with this package is more recent, you should use

./configure --with-included-gettext

to prevent auto-detection.

The configuration process will not test for the catgets function and therefore it will not be used. The reason is that even an emulation of gettext on top of catgets could not provide all the extensions of the GNU gettext library.

Internationalized packages usually have many ‘po/ll.po’ files, where ll gives an ISO 639 two-letter code identifying the language. Unless translations have been forbidden at configure time by using the ‘--disable-nls’ switch, all available translations are installed together with the package. However, the environment variable LINGUAS may be set, prior to configuration, to limit the installed set. LINGUAS should then contain a space separated list of two-letter codes, stating which languages are allowed.

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