[No] Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

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Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Undead » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:03 am

I was thinking that the automatic language selection in GZDoom might be jarring for anyone who speaks one language but prefer to experience the games in their original language, English—and the current location of the language option (Miscellaneous options) is quite obscure. In my opinion, moving it to the launcher will be more convenient.

Here’s an example of what it could look like:

Image

If I remember correctly, GZDoom will allow selecting interface and game languages separately. If so, adding an extra language box to the launcher will be necessary.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Graf Zahl » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:21 am

That entire thing really needs to be redone so that it can also adapt to the language - currently it is loaded before the strings and the configuration. It's also 3 native implementations which also doesn't really make it a thing where working on is pleasant. I think the entire startup process should be redone to be more cross-platform friendly - this includes the startup log, the custom startup screens and of course this dialogue, so that all of this can be done by the actual renderer in some way.

But like I said last time, I think you are completely overestimating the importance here. Doom has survived for 25 years by being exclusively English - there are virtually no mods out there with loxalized text and the number of users feeling some need for localization is probably very small. And if you look at the other ports out there - many do not even support non-ASCII text, they stubbornly stick to no localization capabilities whatsoever.

Strictly speaking, if we were to do PROPER localization, the entire buttload of error message or engine diagnostics also needs to be translated and that goes far beyond what I am willing to invest here.

No matter how you twist it, as nice as the localization feature is, it doesn't really feel like an integral part thanks to the long history of English-only modding.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Kinsie » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:27 am

I'd probably suggest something akin to the drop-down box in ZDL for hiding dual language boxes.
Image
Image

Graf Zahl wrote:That entire thing really needs to be redone so that it can also adapt to the language - currently it is loaded before the strings and the configuration. It's also 3 native implementations which also doesn't really make it a thing where working on is pleasant. I think the entire startup process should be redone to be more cross-platform friendly - this includes the startup log, the custom startup screens and of course this dialogue, so that all of this can be done by the actual renderer in some way.
I agree with this idea of a more universal startup experience - it'll reduce the amount of work required by the developers for changes, and it'll allow for potential modding improvements like not having to use that one horrifying custom image format for Hexen startups.

Graf Zahl wrote:Doom has survived for 25 years by being exclusively English

Image
:P (also doom2f.wad)

Graf Zahl wrote:Strictly speaking, if we were to do PROPER localization, the entire buttload of error message or engine diagnostics also needs to be translated and that goes far beyond what I am willing to invest here.
I'm pretty sure not even modern games go as far as to localize their debug console junk. It's usually in just one language (usually either English or the developer's native language).
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Undead » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:31 am

This isn’t only connected to modding. I got this idea from seeing a user in the ZDoom Discord server wrestle with GZDoom after it automatically detected the system language as Russian, even though it was set to English. I’m not sure what exactly happened there, but the autodetection feature seems a bit clunky to me, and perhaps even intrusive (for people who don’t like having settings set automatically).

Debugging, though, should definitely remain in English. It’s usually not translated, as far as I know, and such messages are most often short enough that they tend to be universably understandable (plus, in order to make bug reports on this forum and/or code submissions, understanding English to some extent is crucial).

If we want to do a “proper” localization of absolutely everything, yeah—that’ll take plenty of work. This is, however, just one change.

Graf Zahl wrote:the number of users feeling some need for localization is probably very small.

This is exactly what I’m saying. Letting those users choose whatever language for themselves, including English, is a more sensible option to me than having GZDoom set it automatically.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Graf Zahl » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:44 am

Kinsie wrote:I'm pretty sure not even modern games go as far as to localize their debug console junk. It's usually in just one language (usually either English or the developer's native language).


Yeah, but parts of the console output is not debug junk, but frequently printed messages directed at the user, not the developer. Still, someone needs to sift through the entire code and collect them.
Translating the compiler errors is indeed pointless, end users only see those when modders are sloppy and careless (may I refer to the Temple of the Lizardmen series again for mods that have a far too noisy startup log...?)

Undead wrote:This isn’t only connected to modding. I got this idea from seeing a user in the ZDoom Discord server wrestle with GZDoom after it automatically detected the system language as Russian, even though it was set to English. I’m not sure what exactly happened there, but the autodetection feature seems a bit clunky to me, and perhaps even intrusive.


The language autodetection on Windows reads the system language. I am not really sure this is a good idea with an engine that can never guarantee complete and seamless translation and I'll most likely disable this feature for the 4.0 release.

Undead wrote:Debugging, though, should definitely remain in English. It’s usually not translated, as far as I know, and such messages are so short that they tend to be universably understandable (plus, in order to make bug reports and/or code submissions, understanding English to some extent is crucial).


Good point about the need to communicate these messages. Yes, aside from being too much work, having localized diagnostics creates a barrier between the report and the person responsible for the report, which is far more critical than a potential barrier between the report and the end user, who often cannot act upon it anyway.

Some time ago I even filed a complaint with the Visual Studio team about defaulting their installer to the local language of the computer it runs on - if you work in a multinational team, getting localized error messages makes impossible to communicate them with teammates in a different country. Software development has become such an international thing that any attempt to make this language friendly is doomed to create more problems than it solves. At my workplace it is critical that error messages are uniform and not subject to guesswork. That means, everybody needs to work with English speaking developer tools so that communicating both diagnostics and workflow is not subject to language interpretation.



Graf Zahl wrote:the number of users feeling some need for localization is probably very small.

This is exactly what I’m saying. Letting those users choose whatever language for themselves is a more sensible option to me than automatically setting GZDoom’s language.[/quote]

Agreed. This was an old ZDoom feature which never affected me, thanks to the lack of German translation, but I never was convinced it is useful.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Enjay » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:38 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:But like I said last time, I think you are completely overestimating the importance here. Doom has survived for 25 years by being exclusively English - there are virtually no mods out there with loxalized text and the number of users feeling some need for localization is probably very small. And if you look at the other ports out there - many do not even support non-ASCII text, they stubbornly stick to no localization capabilities whatsoever.


While I am in the privileged position of Doom having always been in my language (well, American, but whatever :P ), I too think the importance is being overestimated. There may well be some users who prefer GZDoom to be in their non-English native language (and that's absolutely fair) but I have also seen quite a few people over the years saying that they weren't bothered about localisation or, even stronger, that they wanted to override what little localisation there already was and have the game displayed in its original language with its original text even though it wasn't their native language.

What I certainly don't think is needed is a language option being available every time the program starts. Who is going to change language that often?

[edit] However, I could certainly get behind a clean-up of the whole startup process. Not that it has ever caused me any significant difficulties, but it is a bit clunky and I can see why the stuff mentioned could be problematic. [/edit]
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Graf Zahl » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:00 pm

Enjay wrote:What I certainly don't think is needed is a language option being available every time the program starts. Who is going to change language that often?


To be honest, nobody needs that. The options currently there, sure, but not something a normal user would set once and never bother again.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby dpJudas » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:44 pm

Enjay wrote:but I have also seen quite a few people over the years saying that they weren't bothered about localisation or, even stronger, that they wanted to override what little localisation there already was and have the game displayed in its original language with its original text even though it wasn't their native language.

I can only strongly echo this. If any automatic language detection is added, make 200% sure that it is the right localization field read from the system, or better yet, confirm with the user.

My computer is set up to use English as its language and Danish for its other localized settings (currency, keyboard, time, etc.). Any program that writes stuff in Danish always pisses me off, and same for websites that redirects me to the local danish website when I enter their .com web address.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Graf Zahl » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:13 pm

dpJudas wrote:
Enjay wrote:but I have also seen quite a few people over the years saying that they weren't bothered about localisation or, even stronger, that they wanted to override what little localisation there already was and have the game displayed in its original language with its original text even though it wasn't their native language.

I can only strongly echo this. If any automatic language detection is added, make 200% sure that it is the right localization field read from the system, or better yet, confirm with the user.


I'm not sure if ZDoom's code used the correct field but no worries - I just removed it because Doom is not the kind of program where this stuff makes sense.

dpJudas wrote:and same for websites that redirects me to the local danish website when I enter their .com web address.


For whatever reason, many websites only use the IP address to decide what to show. It really can be annoying, especially when having something that doesn't even present country specific content like IMDb - it still cannot be set to anything sane on the user side without logging in with a personal account and making oneself susceptible to their spying.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby dpJudas » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:53 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:For whatever reason, many websites only use the IP address to decide what to show. It really can be annoying, especially when having something that doesn't even present country specific content like IMDb - it still cannot be set to anything sane on the user side without logging in with a personal account and making oneself susceptible to their spying.

I'm fairly lucky in that regard because danish is spoken by so few. They usually can't be bothered to support it until they figured out not to do that kind of IP range checks.

Unfortunately NVidia is one of those that never figured it out and recently started redirecting me to their local garbage site with seemingly no way to make it remember I want the US site. Generally in my profession there's no advantage in getting localized content whatsoever - all it means is I'll have to translate it back into English in my head.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Undead » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:49 am

Okay, so be it.

I still think the current language setting is too hidden for anyone who might not want to play in English. At least, “Miscellaneous options” doesn’t seem very intuitive a location for it to me. I think something that affects the whole interface so drastically would better fit in Display Options.
Last edited by Undead on Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Rachael » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:01 am

Display Options is mostly used for tweaking rendering settings. Personally I think it would be a bit too hidden there. Plus, it's bloated like an overblown balloon with shit right now, compared to the Miscellaneous options. You want to talk about hidden? It'd be a needle in a haystack, there!
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:01 am

No, it is not too hidden. It is precisely where it should be - out of the way of everyday options in a place where a user normally goes once to set up preferences.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Enjay » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:08 am

And because it's a general option that doesn't easily fit into the other existing categories, it's exactly the kind of option that should be gathered under the heading of miscellaneous. It seems to be a very logical place to me. Once I realised that it had move, I found it almost instantly because misc was a very logical place for me to look.
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Re: Add language option to the GZDoom launcher

Postby Xaser » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:41 pm

Please reconsider adding this. With the current option placement, it's basically impossible for a non-English speaker to even find the option to begin with, which defeats the point.

[EDIT] FWIW, I do agree with the removal of the auto-detection, for reasons mentioned. It's best to let the user choose, but the choice needs to be visible.
Last edited by Xaser on Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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