After reading first answers I realized that the way I expressed the question was actually confusing. So here is another formulation, hopefully more clear.
This question came to my mind just after posting a comment in Stack Overflow, where I wanted to thank the OP because he'd kept me informed.
As a French native speaker, I use to have in French a clear, unambiguous way to distinctly express thanks, depending on they are for something I'm asking for, or something that I just got. In other words, before or after obtaining it.
Though in English it appears that it may be much ambiguous, so in the example above I was afraid to write something that could be read as "please keep me informed" instead.
Especially, Google translator as well as already posted answers seem to confirm that something like
Thanks for ...ing me (whatever action is "...") could apply to both "before" and "after" situations.
Hence my main question: is that true? And if so, how am I supposed to disambiguate when I use such formulation? Depending on context?
It's clear that I can always use some imperative formulation when I ask, such as "Please ...", so I'm sure not to ambiguous at all. At the opposite, for the "after" case it seems more delicate, especially if I want to avoid complicate periphrasis.
Hence the additional question: is there a common simple way to express the "after" case?
Here is the original question.
As a French native speaker, this question came to my mind just after posting a comment in Stack Overflow, where I wanted to thank the OP because he'd kept me informed, but I was afraid to write something ambiguous that he could read as "please keep me informed". In French, we can clearly express the difference using different tenses with the same words (including conjunctions):
Merci de m'informer: literally "Thanks to inform me"; it's to thank in advance, regarding something I asked for.
Merci de m'avoir informé: literally "Thanks to have informed me"; it's to thank for something that have be done for me (or given to me).
But from my (currently little) experience it seems that the preferred way in English may often be quite different, and frequently ambiguous (at least at my eyes).
E.g. when asking Google translator I get "Thanks for informing me" for both #1 and #2 above!
The same applies with
Merci de me tenir informé and
Merci de m'avoir tenu informé, that both return
Thanks for keeping me informed.
In the other hand, if I try with "answer" instead of "inform", I get not ambiguous translations:
Thanks for answering me and
Thanks for your reply.
In fact I guess that these contradictory examples only give evidence that Google translator is poorly supplied, and lacks reliability...
So is there a general rule (or a set of rules) that clearly indicate which choice is the good one in these situations?
Or in other words, something as simple and not ambiguous as the French way, merely using present infinitive when asking and past infinitive when it's done.