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The definition of the
gettext interface comes from a Uniforum
proposal and it is followed by at least one major Unix vendor
(Sun) in its last developments. It is not specified in any official
The main points about this solution is that it does not follow the method of normal file handling (open-use-close) and that it does not burden the programmer so many task, especially the unique key handling. Of course here also a unique key is needed, but this key is the message itself (how long or short it is). See 10.3 Comparing the Two Interfaces for a more detailed comparison of the two methods.
The following section contains a rather detailed description of the
interface. We make it that detailed because this is the interface
we chose for the GNU
gettext Library. Programmers interested
in using this library will be interested in this description.
10.2.1 The Interface The interface 10.2.2 Solving Ambiguities Solving ambiguities 10.2.3 Locating Message Catalog Files Locating message catalog files 10.2.4 How to specify the output character set
How to request conversion to Unicode 10.2.5 Additional functions for plural forms Additional functions for handling plurals 10.2.6 How to use
gettextin GUI programs
Another technique for solving ambiguities 10.2.7 Optimization of the *gettext functions
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