The other day I was playing around my Fedora 12 box to check some widget alignments and came across this interesting ‘bug’ related to the updation of the default directories in the user’s home. The directories ‘Desktop’, ‘Downloads’, ‘Templates’, ‘Public’, ‘Documents’, ‘Music’ and ‘Pictures’ are automatically present in the user’s home directory and these names can be translated in the xdg-user-dirs module. If the xdg-user-dirs-gtk module is installed, everytime a user logs into a new language interface from the gdm a dialog is presented prompting the user if she would like to rename these directories to the translated version. If she chooses to rename, then after logging in she would get these folders in the language she chose for the current session. Next time, when the same or another user chooses a different language while logging into another session, the prompt reappears and the user can again choose to rename the folders into their choice of language for the session. Rinse repeat.
The catch here is that the translation of these folders have to be present for this dialog prompt to be displayed. In the earlier example, if there were no translations of these folders in user2’s choice of language, the dialog prompt would not have been displayed. This would result in user2 being stuck with (in all probability) incomprehensible folder names from user1’s session. The solution here is to revert back to the more conventionally accepted standard English names. The process of reverting involves, logging out from the session and logging into the English session, choose to rename the folders into English from the displayed dialog prompt and then logging back again into a session with the preferred choice of language.
A probable solution to avoid this situation, is perhaps to display the dialog prompt for languages that do not have translations, with an option to rename them back to English. The other probable solution can be, to automatically rename them to English if there are no translations. The latter is the standard procedure for untranslated portions of UI messages.
This is particularly important for languages that are written in non-latin scripts like the CJKI languages. Since the folders are actually moved, writing their names would become difficult from the console. On the other hand, if they choose to not translate then renaming them back to English would require an user to go through the hoops mentioned earlier.
Since blog is not a bug, so one exists here (would have helped around if I had the skills). I hope I am not missing any existing solutions that are already present for this issue. Thoughts?