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news from the DDTP


today we celebrate 'Happy New Year' and it's time to write a report
about the Debian Description Translation Project (DDTP).

The past (you can skip this)

  The goal of the DDTP is to translate every package description into
  'all' languages. 

  Naturally, this is a huge task (in the past sid/main contained
  more than 7000 description) and this task needs a lot of
  coordination.  In addition to this all descriptions will change from
  time to time.

  Some years ago the debian-ja project started some translation
  effort.  Also some spanish Debian users translated (a lot)
  descriptions.  But there was no real framework to handle this.

  The DDTP maintains the Debian Description Translation Server (DDTS).
  This server performs all coordination and checks daily for new
  descriptions, changed descriptions, sends notification mails to
  package maintainers and so on.

  A Debian user can allready use the translated stuff accessing some
  Debian mirrors with translated Packages files using modifiedlines in

The present

  Most importantly: The DDTP is still running, and our archive
  continues to grow. For a pretty graph of this growth, look to

  Here just some hard numbers:
   9547 descriptions are now in the database of the DDTS
   7643 descriptions are up-to-date in sid/main
   4975 descriptions are translated into de
   3154 descriptions are translated into ja
   2678 descriptions are translated into pt_BR
   2219 descriptions are translated into fr
   1255 descriptions are translated into it
  We also have translations to 9 other languages.
  The DDTP uses its own BTS system.  This was improved during the last
  weeks.  The DDTS tracks all bugs and sends notifications to the
  translators.  If the translator is inactive, the DDTS sends the
  description to a new translator.  Additionally, the daily update
  process sends bug reports to the BTS if a description has been

  You can see the "development" of such bugs on

  By using a proofreading process, we hope that we may get a better
  quality of translations.  As part of this process, a reviewer may
  request a translated description to review and may add their review
  of that translation to the database.  After three reviewers have
  agreed that the translation is valid, that translation has passed
  the review process.  However, at the moment, only French and Italian
  translations may go through this review process.  Some statistics:

    2219 descriptions are translated
    1094 descriptions have one reviewer
     353 descriptions have two reviewers
     158 descriptions have three reviewers
     127 descriptions have passed the process
    1255 descriptions are translated
     958 descriptions have one reviewer
      57 descriptions have two reviewers
       0 descriptions have three reviewers
       0 descriptions have passed the process

  The DDTP runs on its own domain 'ddtp.debian.org'.  The web sites
  are still very beta, but you can find first information on

  I asked the Debian ftp master to include some translated Packages
  files on ftp-master.debian.org some time ago, but that doesn't seem
  to be appreciated at the moment.  OK.  However, at the moment we
  provide an rsync-able directory on ddtp.debian.org with translated
  Packages files and some soft links and fortunately we found some
  Debian mirrors who are already supporting this (ftp.de.debian.org
  and ftp2.de.debian.org), though, we're looking forward to adding

  Currently you can use

    deb ftp://ftp.de.debian.org/debian-ddtp de/woody main

  in your /etc/apt/sources.list to use translated descriptions.  Yes,
  this is a hack but it works well and it is the first step to wider
  support.  In future we need real support for translated
  descriptions.  You'll find more information in

  See <http://ddtp.debian.org/pdesc/screenshots/> for screenshots of
  package managers that use translated descriptions.

  If you are a Debian package maintainer, you can get some infos from
  the DDTP. You can get notification mails from the DDTS with uploads
  of translated descriptions, you can put a veto on this uploads, etc.
  See <URL:http://auric.debian.org/~grisu/ddtp/ddts-pm.txt> for more
  informations. On <URL:http://ddtp.debian.org/pdesc/maintainer/> you
  can see your packages and their translation status.

  Finally, several translators and a reviewer have worked together to
  write a DDTP client that helps with various daily tasks.  See

The future


    I have added _beta_ and _testonly_ support to an interface.
    Please look it at <http://ddtp.debian.org/packages.debian.org/>.

    I asked on debian-www and maybe we will get real support on
    packages.debian.org one day. 


    The DDTS currently has only a mail interface.  Some people
    'needed' a web frontend.  So I rewrote some parts of the DDTS in
    the last weeks in order to make it more modular.  Maybe we can add
    a second frontend and we get a web interface for some common

  Support on the Debian CD-Set:

    If I get time, I'll write a program that translates a given
    Packages file into a certain languages (pick matching translations
    and exchange the english ones).  Maybe we can add this to
    debian-cd and produce (only optionally though) CD's with
    translated Packages files.

  Real support:

    We need real support in APT and dpkg.  We wrote some requirements
    for this support in

    Help is appreciated to implement this.


    Make more use of this domain, make it to a real web sites and move
    the server from auric to this domain.

  Each of these items can use your help.  If you want to be a
  supporter of the DDTP, but know only one language, these projects
  would benefit greatly from your energy.  If you know more than one
  language, please help us to achieve our goals by translating
  descriptions.  In any case, any help you can offer will be greatly


  Thanks to all the translators and the reviewers.  This is your work.

  Thanks to all the languages coordinators. 

  Thanks to Nicolas Bertolissio for his work (server and script)

Michael Bramer  -  a Debian Linux Developer      http://www.debsupport.de
PGP: finger grisu@db.debian.org  -- Linux Sysadmin   -- Use Debian Linux
The only stupid question is the unasked one.

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