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Trying to understand what Babel is exactly [message #868363] Tue, 01 May 2012 19:30 Go to next message
Lorena Kreda is currently offline Lorena KredaFriend
Messages: 2
Registered: May 2012
Junior Member
Hello!

I am interested to know how an Italian non-English speaking software engineer might be able to collaborate on a C/C++ program running on Linux that was written by English-speaking software engineers. We anticipate using Eclipse as a develpment environment, and from what I see so far, it sounds like Babel may be able to help us, but I'm having trouble understanding exactly what Babel is, what it actually does and how it works.

Can anyone point me at some documentation, tutorials, testimonials, or just describe the big picture of what Babel is and how it fits in with a development environment or project?

For example, can I use Babel to convert all the comments and variable names in a source code tree from English to Italian and vice versa? Is it a symmetric conversion, ie. would I get the same thing back if I made no changes and just translated from English to Italian and back to English?

Does the IDE matter? Could Babel handle a Visual Studio source tree?

Thanks in advance for any help with this!

Lorena
Re: Trying to understand what Babel is exactly [message #868372 is a reply to message #868363] Tue, 01 May 2012 20:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Denis Roy is currently offline Denis RoyFriend
Messages: 346
Registered: October 2004
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Senior Member

In Eclipse code, the UI strings (text you see in the UI) are not hard-coded -- they are externalized in .properties files. By replacing English .properties files with another language, the Eclipse UI is translated.

Babel imports the English strings from .properties files into a database and allows the community to translate them. It then bundles them up into language packs.

Babel does not touch the source code. It cannot translate variable names or code comments into another language.


Denis Roy
Eclipse Webmaster -- webmaster@eclipse.org
Re: Trying to understand what Babel is exactly [message #868956 is a reply to message #868372] Wed, 02 May 2012 19:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lorena Kreda is currently offline Lorena KredaFriend
Messages: 2
Registered: May 2012
Junior Member
Thank you very much for your quick reply! Have you heard of anyone seeking to translate source code before? I assume that language constructs such as "if", "while", "class" etc are fixed in English, otherwise a standard compiler would not work, correct? Variable names and comments could be in any language, but the programming language tokens must always be English I would assume, but would love to hear your comments.

Many thanks,
Lorena
Re: Trying to understand what Babel is exactly [message #868963 is a reply to message #868956] Wed, 02 May 2012 19:40 Go to previous message
Denis Roy is currently offline Denis RoyFriend
Messages: 346
Registered: October 2004
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Senior Member

I've never heard of anyone wanting to translate source code itself, although I can see how this could be beneficial for variable names and comments. It would most likely be a maintenance nightmare to maintain multiple iterations of source code in various languages.

Denis Roy
Eclipse Webmaster -- webmaster@eclipse.org
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