add a note for translators regarding "loading linux kernel" message

Bug #221550 reported by Przemek K.
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gfxboot-theme-ubuntu (Ubuntu)
Colin Watson

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gfxboot-theme-ubuntu

There is something that many translators translate wrong. In the livecd bootloader, upon entering Try Ubuntu there is a briefly displayed string "Loading Linux kernel" which many translators translate as "Loading Linux's kernel" (Loading kernel of Linux) which is wrong, because Linux doesn't have a kernel, Linux _is the kernel_. So the string should be translated to mean "Loading kernel named Linux" rather than "Loading kernel of Linux".
gfxboot-theme-ubuntu's translation files (.pot) should have a note about it, immediately after this string.
Alternatively, the message could be shortened to just "Loading..." or removed at all.

Revision history for this message
Marnanel Thurman (marnanel) wrote :

This is going to open a big can of worms about whether people mean the kernel when they say "Linux" (hence why the FSF ask you to say GNU/Linux to describe the whole thing) or whether it's legitimate to use "Linux" to mean the whole thing. It's a rather politicised question.

Revision history for this message
Blaise Alleyne (balleyne) wrote :

I disagree. Those who refer to the entire operating system name it after the kernel, do they not? I don't think there is a dispute over whether the kernel is called Linux or not, that's a fact. The political dispute is over whether an entire operating system running on the Linux kernel should be simply referred to as Linux, or as GNU/Linux.

Revision history for this message
Marnanel Thurman (marnanel) wrote :

I think possibly I didn't make myself clear. The situation is indeed as you describe. However, if it is legitimate to describe the whole OS as "Linux", then a phrase equivalent to "loading Linux's kernel" in various languages is also legitimate, since the kernel is the kernel of the whole OS. If not, then not.

Revision history for this message
Przemek K. (azrael) wrote :

The official description is "Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system", not "Ubuntu = Linux".
So let's stay with the official terminology, not community slang ;)

Revision history for this message
Marnanel Thurman (marnanel) wrote :

FWIW, I think you can get either reading out of "Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system". If Linux is a kernel, Ubuntu is based around that kernel. If Linux is an entire OS, Ubuntu is a version of that entire OS, and is therefore based on it. Actually, I think the second reading is the more natural.

Personally, I actually also think that the name Linux should only be used for the kernel, but I'm just pointing out where the "loading Linux's kernel" messages might have crept in and why some people still might not think they're wrong.

Revision history for this message
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Thomas (hi!): In context, I think simply reducing it to "Loading kernel" or even just "Loading" would be sufficient; I doubt that people really care about the detail here on the boot menu.

In fact, I've previously speculated on removing this dialog altogether. It's the last thing that happens before the boot menu exits. I booted an experimental image with this dialog removed in qemu, and there is no perceptible delay between selecting a boot menu item and the boot menu exiting. Now, this is a pretty recent and fast laptop (though not outrageously so), but nevertheless this suggests that there isn't actually any need for a progress bar here.

Revision history for this message
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

FWIW, it was our intention when founding Ubuntu to dodge the Linux vs. GNU/Linux controversy entirely. I remember an early discussion about whether we should be "Ubuntu Linux" or "Ubuntu GNU/Linux", and eventually we agreed that it was better just to be Ubuntu and not have to worry about it. Now, this went slightly awry when we couldn't get the domain name and ended up with for a while, but it's for that reason that we prefer

I rather suspect that "Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system" is intentionally ambiguous.

Revision history for this message
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Fixed for my next upload by removing the progress bar along with that translatable string.

Changed in gfxboot-theme-ubuntu:
assignee: nobody → kamion
status: New → Fix Committed
importance: Undecided → Low
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package gfxboot-theme-ubuntu - 0.6.3

gfxboot-theme-ubuntu (0.6.3) intrepid; urgency=low

  * Update language names from localechooser 2.03ubuntu1, adding Amharic and
    Marathi, adjusting the default locale for Esperanto, and fixing the
    localised name for Hungarian (LP: #233229).
  * Update keymaps from console-setup 1.25ubuntu1. Drop the braille keymap,
    which is not very useful here; stop excluding the cs keymap since it no
    longer exists (replaced by rs, which is fine).
  * Remove progress bar. It generally takes very little time so is just
    another UI flicker, and removing it avoids some UI (LP: #45664) and
    translation (LP: #221550) cans of worms.

 -- Colin Watson <email address hidden> Mon, 30 Jun 2008 16:11:23 +0100

Changed in gfxboot-theme-ubuntu:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers