Suggestion: No more language packs for macOS as they are fundamentally broken

Eivind Samseth eisa01 at
Sat May 23 07:32:11 UTC 2020

to take a step back:

Here’s the way you can distribute localizations on macOS
1. Include all localizations in the standard download (used by all Apple software, MS Office etc.)
2. Offer precompiled .app bundles in the language of choice (used by Firefox)
3. Offer language packs as a separate download and installation (used by LO)

What would the standard macOS way be to distribute language packs?

1 is the standard way and with file system compression it would not use significantly more disk space than today (I’ll have to google to find out how you actually turn it on)
2 is also an acceptable choice with one-step install
3 is a quirky solution requiring multiple steps, I can’t remember any other app having a similar install option on macOS?

As such 1 or 2 would be the preferred option if we were to design the system today, agree?
One of the nice thing about macOS historically is that you could easily change your system UI language and have your apps follow, while this was not easily done on e.g., Windows.

I don’t see any real advantages of 3, only drawbacks from a user perspective
Doing option 3 without installing to the .app bundle would be worse, in that the available localization will depend on the user - you would have to install it for every single user on the machine


> On 23 May 2020, at 05:44, Tor Lillqvist <tml at> wrote:
> So when you
> install help to another directory, to me it seems like a small step to
> also install install the langaugepack files to another directory
> outside the app.
> It's not *installing* the language pack wherever we want that is the problem. (That is just a modification to one Apple Script file.) It's *using* it from there. (All of it. Autotext, dictionaries (that for some reason are packaged in some form of extension inside the language pack), help, localisation in the form of .xcd files, other registry entries, and localisation in the form of .mo files. (Possibly also presets (whatever they are) and wizards, although those where empty in the couple of language packs I looked id.)   
> My version of Catalina still is happy with the app bundle, no matter
> whether I install a language pack or not (or multiple of them).
> Feel free then to resolve the related bugs as NOTABUG.
> --tml
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