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Re: Autoconf configuration?

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: Autoconf configuration?
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2005 13:39:19 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.5

Simon Josefsson wrote on 2004-03-14:
> Hello.  I find the use of several files in po/ to configure gettext a
> little cluttered.  Some ideas:
> * If there is no po/LINGUAS file, how about defaulting to including
>   languages for po/*.po?

This file list serves the purpose of excluding the usual junk, foo, foobar
files from the distribution list. Often the po/ directory contains files
named de2.po, de.old.po, <PACKAGE>-<VERSION>-<LANG>.po etc. which should
not be distributed.

> * How about allowing the LINGUAS content to be specified from
>   configure.ac?  For example:
> AM_GNU_GETTEXT(external)

This was the scheme used earlier, and didn't allow for multiple po/
directories in a package with a single configure.ac.

> * How about moving (read: continue to support the current scheme, but
>   also allow a new scheme) the LINGUAS content to Makefile.am, for
>   packages that use Automake?  For example:
> idn_PO = fr.po pl.po sr.po sv.po

If you are talking about the package's main Makefile.am, it has the same
flaw as the configure.ac suggestion: It allows only for one po/ directory.

If you are talking about po/Makefile.am, then yes, that's a possiblity.
Alexandre and I have started working on this.

> * Most things in po/Makevars appear to be possible to populate with
>   default values, removing the need for maintainers to store this file
>   in CVS, and to manually copy it from Makevars.template initially.

The COPYRIGHT_HOLDER and the MSGID_BUGS_ADDRESS usually need modifications.

> * When using autoconf, defaulting to the AC_INIT bug report mail
>   address for MSGID_BUGS_ADDRESS seem to promote better quality.

You're right. I'm implementing this.

>   Projects that don't want feedback from translators could disable it
>   explicitly, instead of requiring people that want feedback from
>   specifying it.

There's actually no need to explicitly disable translator bug reports if
an email address for normal bug reports is provided through AC_INIT.
msgid bugs are bugs.

> * If po/POTFILES.in doesn't exist, how about automatically generating
>   it somehow?  At least for projects using autoconf + automake, the
>   source files should be possible to figure out from the make files.
>   That might not be perfect, but might work well enough for many
>   projects if done well, thus simplifying the maintainer's burden.

The problem is the "somehow". I don't see a solution that would work in
all cases, especially in projects with multiple po/ directories.

If you have a script that at least works in the simple cases and that
could be recommended by the gettext documentation, you're welcome to
contribute it.

> * (More of a question, really.) Is it possible to stop gettext from
>   modifying *.po files, that I keep in CVS?  It rewrites
>   POT-Creation-Date every time I build my package, causing CVS
>   conflicts.

Usually this happens only when you do "make dist". If it also happens
by a simple "make", it looks like you have not done "make dist" once,
or something is misconfigured?

>   I don't want to store *.pot in CVS because it is a
>   generated file, is there no other choice?  I'm considering putting
>   se.po.in, fr.po.in etc in CVS and use CONFIG_FILES on them to
>   generate se.po, fr.po etc that gettext can modify to its own heart,
>   to avoid seeing CVS conflicts.

That might work. If you have good experiences with such a scheme, it
may be worth changing po/Makefile.in.in to support it.


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