[GRASS translations] Re: [GRASS-dev] message standardization on wiki

Glynn Clements glynn at gclements.plus.com
Thu Apr 12 09:41:26 EDT 2007

Brad Douglas wrote:

> > 1. First letter should be capitalized
> > 2. Use present tense (cannot instead of could not)
> > 3. No contractions (cannot instead of can't)
> > 4. Good sentence construction ("Cannot find input map <%s>" instead of "It could not be find input map <%s>")
> > 5. Be consistent with periods. Either end all phrases with a period or none.
> I would prefer not using "Cannot...".  It's bad grammar.  I would much
> prefer "Unable to..." or something to that effect.

While I can see your point, that construction is quite common in error
messages, e.g.:

	$ ls -l foo
	ls: cannot access foo: No such file or directory

Neither "cannot ..." nor "unable to ..." form complete sentences.

If you're concerned about grammar, you can provide an explicit subject
("The program cannot ..."), or use the third person (e.g. "The file
cannot be found").

Personally, I don't have a problem with just omitting the subject.

Glynn Clements <glynn at gclements.plus.com>

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