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GNU gettext utilities

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10.2 About gettext

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 standard, though.

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 gettext uses  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 gettext in GUI programs  Another technique for solving ambiguities
10.2.7 Optimization of the *gettext functions  

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