The Grey Chronicles

2010.October.11

Ghosts in Your Machine: Language Packs

Filed under: Commentary,Croppings,Grey Undertones,Information,Long Grey Notes,Security — reyadel @ 23:59
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Inspecting the Extensions folder of Firefox, I was surprised to find that most add-ons or extensions contained language packs or available translations of respective Firefox extensions, from Armenian [AR] to Taiwanese [ZH-TW]. These language packs are installed despite the fact that I have specifically installed the most recent release of Firefox, English-US version. In Firefox, these files are usually found in sub-folders of respective extension, such as: \chrome\locale\ or \chrome\chromeFiles\locale\.

For example, the default installation of the Firefox add-on, Xmarks (formerly Foxmarks), includes 32 language packs amounting to 1.73 MB ranging from Arabic [ar] to Chinese (Taiwan) [zh-TW]. A user primarily using English-US [en-US] would only need 39.8KB! Several other Firefox extensions, such as All-in-One Sidebar, FlashGot, NoScript, Vacuum Places Improved, or Yahoo Toolbar, to name a few, include language translations of the extension’s interface. What a waste of hard disk space! DELETED!

Firefox cautions not to delete installed files in the User Profiles folder while Firefox is running. Deletion SHOULD be done while Firefox is NOT RUNNING!

Folder Properties: Adobe Legal CopyrightSearching my almost reliable 519-MHz mobile AMD Athlon Compaq Presario notebook with 448 MB of RAM running Windows XP SP3 for similar files led me to something installed way back in 2006, about four years or almost half a decade ago. Not surprisingly, there are 16 folders [955KB] in \Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\Legal\Adobe Acrobat\7.0.0, containing the translations of Adobe Acrobat’s License in 16 languages: Danish [da_DK] to Chinese (Taiwan) [zh_TW]. I only need one version to read to know what the license entails! Anyway, has anybody bothered to ever read one? What a waste of hard disk space! DELETED!

The English-US versions of any Microsoft applications are usually numerically coded with 1033. Thus, during installation of Microsoft applications, a Direct Link Library [.dll] file could be named, e.g., NETFXRepair.1033.dll, meaning the NETFXRepair Direct Link Library is for English-US applications. Other language codes used by Microsoft can be found in Microsoft Technet Library or in Go Global Developer Center Technical Reference. For letter codes, see MSDN Library, most of these are based on ISO 639-1. The common installation of Windows XP is designed to be used one language at a time.

Another example, in C:\WINDOWS\inf\, the English-US version of Windows Policy Template AER_1033.ADM [33.2KB] contains information about what features network administrators see when using Group Policy. The default installation of Windows XP usually includes 39 other policy templates about 1.27M in various languages, such as Arabic (Saudi Arabia) for AER_1025.ADM to Spanish – Spain (Modern Sort) for AER_3082.ADM! What a waste of hard disk space! DELETED!

Ghosts in the Machine: Microsoft Application Error ReportingAnother application which installs other language versions of the same file is Microsoft Application Error Reporting [DW20.EXE]. It installs about 4,204KB of DLLs, while a user usually only needs one copy of DWINTL20.DLL. The English-US [1033] version of DWINTL20.DLL is ONLY about 106KB! What a waste of hard disk space! DELETED!

Moreover, if a user installs Microsoft Office and opts to include Proofing and Translation tools, there are big footprint files involved. Usually, the default or the most basic installation of Microsoft Office automatically installs the Proofing tools.

Ghosts in the Machine: Microsoft Office Proofing ToolsIn \Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\PROOF, three [3] sub-folders are installed: 1033 [English-US], 1036 [French_Standard] containing MSGR3FR.DLL [6,070K], and 3082 [Spanish_Modern_Sort] containing MSGR3ES.DLL [1,068K]. Furthermore, in the PROOF directory, there are several Dictionary files [.lex], such as MSGR3ES.LEX [4,165K], MSHY3ES.LEX [1,241K], MSSP3ENA.LEX [487K] MSSP3ES.LEX [1,240K], MSTH3ES.LEX [3,465K] and MSWDS_ES.LEX [387K] for the Spanish Lexicon, and MSGR3FR.LEX [25b], MSHY3FR.LEX [702K], MSSP3FR.LEX [898K], MSSP3PFR.LEX [249K], MSTH3FR.LEX [1,176K] and MSWDS_FR.LEX [288K] for French Lexicon. For Spanish and French lexicons, these total about 17,438K, compared to 8,796K if only English-US LEX files are installed! The total installed files in the PROOF directory is about 36,806K! What a waste of hard disk space! UNINSTALLED!

Ghosts in the Machine: Microsoft Office Translation ToolsSimilarly, in \Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\TRANSLAT, four [4] sub-folders are installed, namely, ENES [English-to-Spanish], ENFR [English-to-French], ESEN [Spanish-to-English], and FREN [French-to-English]. Each of these folders contain a file, Internet Document Set [.ITS], among others. The ENES [English-to-Spanish] folder contains MSB1ENES.ITS [6,433K]. The ENFR [English-to-French] folder contains MSB1ENFR.ITS [7,241K]. The ESEN [Spanish-to-English] folder contains MSB1ESEN.ITS [6,839K], plus MSB1ESEN.DLL [64K] and WT61ES.LEX [663K]. The FREN [French-to-English] folder contains MSB1FREN.ITS [6,804K], plus MSB1FREN.DLL [64K] and WT61FR.LEX [603K]. The total installed files in the TRANSLAT directory is about 29,810K! What a waste of hard disk space! UNINSTALLED!

During this spring-cleaning, I recovered as much as 650MB of hard disk space almost equivalent to one regular CD-ROM. Unless a user is bilingual or a polyglot, one language pack or version of files would be necessary. Others are only occupying hard disk space which when freed would enhance the virtual memory. Happy hunting for the the Ghosts in your Machines!


Notes:

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 LicenseDisclaimer: These posts do not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; refer to this blog’s self-imposed rules: A New Year; New Rules. Unless otherwise expressly stated, posts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Comments are moderated to keep the discussion/s relevant and civil. Readers are responsible for their own statement/s.

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