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Re: [Translation-i18n] automake po / pot file integration: when to merge

From: Claude Paroz
Subject: Re: [Translation-i18n] automake po / pot file integration: when to merge the PO files?
Date: Mon, 06 Sep 2010 12:13:03 +0200

Le lundi 06 septembre 2010 à 11:25 +0200, Bruno Haible a écrit :
> Hi,
> One issue still needs discussion within the planned po / pot file
> integration [1]:
> When should the PO files that are distributed be merged with the POT file?

> The minimalistic approach
> -------------------------
> It would be possible to never update the PO files, and instead produce the .mo
> files by running 'msgmerge' on the fly, directly before 'msgfmt':
>   $ msgmerge xx.po domain.pot | msgfmt -c - >
> So:
>   - The POT file would be updated at "make dist",
>   - The PO files would only be changed when the translator submits a new one,
>   - The MO files would be updated at "make dist".
> The VCS would only contain the PO files; and there would be no VCS conflicts.
> The drawback with this approach is that translators cannot work with a PO
> file that they take from a tarball; they would need to run 'msgmerge' by
> themselves (if there is no TP robot that does it for them). This would be
> a major hassle for the translators. Or they would need to rely on a web
> service to deliver them the merged PO files - then the translators have a
> methodology problem.

IMHO, there is a growing use of translation platforms where the merge
step is taking care of by an ad-hoc infrastructure: Transifex, TP,
Pootle, GNOME/KDE translation projects, Launchpad, etc.

For individual projects, there is almost always some README or Wiki page
giving explanations about the translation process. The "make update-po"
target may be the standardized way to promote.

So for me, the minimalistic approach is the way to go.

Claude Paroz

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