Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 15:37 UTC
Editorial Earlier this week, we ran a story on GoboLinux, and the distribution's effort to replace the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard with a more pleasant, human-readable, and logical design. A lot of people liked the idea of modernising/replacing the FHS, but just as many people were against doing so. Valid arguments were presented both ways, but in this article, I would like to focus on a common sentiment that came forward in that discussion: normal users shouldn't see the FHS, and advanced users are smart enough to figure out how the FHS works.
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I don't think it is such a good idea to translate directory names.

For Example:
You, being dutch, run your $OS with locale set to dutch. Now, you have to explain to a chinese, in english (he doesn't speak dutch, you don't speak chinese), where he would find $PROGRAM or $FILE. He is, of course, running $OS with locale set to chinese.

You repeatedly tell him to go to his "Programs" folder. He keeps telling you, he doesn't have one. Let's assume that the translation from chinese to english for that very same folder is "Applications".

Now apply this to the entire directory tree.

It's even worse when naive or inexperienced developers make assumptions about existing directories. My Windows XP is set to german, and every once in a while there is a program that installs to "Program Files" instead of "Programme".

While translating, more often than not, you end up translating *concepts* rather than *words* because it's the only way to make sense.

While I do think I18N and L10N are really great and necessary, I also think they shouldn't be applied (naively) to file system hierarchies.

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