Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Suaheli

335 words

Translations that Apple made of software, used to be quite good and deserved being called localisations. But there are so many glitches in OSX now, that I've come to suspect they want to compete with Windows or even proper Open Source software in that realm as well. When emptying the Trash, for example, the OSX Finder will display the 'objects remaining' window, which says 'Übrige Objekte' in German. That's just a very literal translation which sounds very wrong. It should be – and iirc was in OS 9 – 'Verbleibende Objekte'. Interestingly, they translated 'time remaining' in the copy progress window as 'Verbleibende Zeit'.

Safari's contextual menu for links Similarly strange are the menu items in Safari's contextual menu, for example. Not only do they make good use of mixing English words such as 'Link, 'download' or 'tab' with German (while using 'Datenträger', a very formal translation of 'disk'), but it also illustrates another problem: Having almost all of your contextual menu items start with the same word is bad. You'll actually have to read them to figure out the difference. This costs me about a second every time I use it. Furthermore the order of the items should be different. Definitely copying to the clipboard should come before saving to disk. I have the feeling, things that do less should come first in the menu. (IE gets this wrong as well, Camino gets it right).

Did anyone else notice that Safari (a) doesn't advise you to use its status bar (turned off by default), (b) makes it easy to toggle it on and off and (c) the information displayed there is more useful that that in any browser I've seen in the past decade? The text there is 'human readable', in that the verbs it uses change according to the protocol, it tells you where the link will open, reflecting the modifier keys you're holding, it displays a link's title information and its address, it gives progress info that has just the right amount of detail. Nice one.

May 3, 2003, 15:14

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