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Version Control with Subversion, 2nd Edition by Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman, C. Michael Pilato

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Subversion’s Use of Locales

The Subversion client, svn, honors the current locale configuration in two ways. First, it notices the value of the LC_MESSAGES variable and attempts to print all messages in the specified language. For example:

$ export LC_MESSAGES=de_DE
$ svn help cat
cat: Gibt den Inhalt der angegebenen Dateien oder URLs aus.
Aufruf: cat ZIEL[@REV]...
...

This behavior works identically on both Unix and Windows systems. Note, though, that while your operating system might have support for a certain locale, the Subversion client still may not be able to speak the particular language. In order to produce localized messages, human volunteers must provide translations for each language. The translations are written using the GNU gettext package, which results in translation modules that end with the .mo filename extension. For example, the German translation file is named de.mo. These translation files are installed somewhere on your system. On Unix, they typically live in /usr/share/locale/, whereas on Windows they’re often found in the \share\locale\ folder in Subversion’s installation area. Once installed, a module is named after the program for which it provides translations. For example, the de.mo file may ultimately end up installed as /usr/share/locale/de/LC_MESSAGES/subversion.mo. By browsing the installed .mo files, you can see which languages the Subversion client is able to speak.

The second way in which the locale is honored involves how svn interprets your input. ...

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