Back in 2009 I wrote a post complaining about the needless complexities plural forms introduce to the i18n process. Now I ran into them again.

Working on the OSTD I have to make sure I work with all kinds of PO files, and that has to include PO files with plural forms. The format of PO files is not a standard, mostly beacuse there’s only one implementation for fully handling them (GNU gettext). Heck, it’s not even a spec. I was barely able to piece together an understanding of possible variations of the format using the gettext manual and looking at existing real PO files. That and the fact that the format is kind of loose and everything else I mentioned in the previous post made me hate plural forms even more than I did before.

My implementations of the PO file parser and writer do not handle plural forms. I am hoping that I’m ignoring them properly when reading, and it’s ok that they’re missing when writing. And I have no plans of supporting them in the future. I will use what little influence I have to convince app maintainers to not use them, or to get rid of them.