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Re: Translating Debian packages' descriptions



Hi Raphael,

On Fri, Aug 31, 2001 at 01:59:32PM +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> i'm starting a new thread to make a summary. Whenever i use
> translation, i mean a translation of the text contained in a
> Description field of a Debian package.
> 
> What is proposed :

I may be mistaken, but I had the impression that the discussion showed
that the approach Grisu originally proposed had a number of
organizational and technical problems. Still, your summary mostly
follows this approach.

[snip details: packages install descriptions into desc.d /
package-description-<lang> package with desc.d descriptions + updated
translations / creation of final description list on user's machine]

> The real drawbacks that have been identified :
> ----------------------------------------------
> 
> - whenever there's a new package, people won't have the translation
>   unless the package-description-<lang> package has been already
>   updated
>   (the same applies if an already existing package has changed its
>    description)
> - people following unstable may loose some translations for some
>   old packages installed and where the description changed
[snip]

> For the first drawback, there's no solution I can think of.

Per-language Packages files will do nicely.

[snip]
> I undertstand that including all the translations in the control
> file itself and in the Packages files is the ultimate solution. But
> it's not acceptable actually. Just because of the size issue. 

With language-specific Packages files, there is no size issue.

About the only disadvantage I can think of is that the fallback
language would have to be English, and not configurable - but surely
that's acceptable. There is no encoding issue either, since AFAIK for
every language there exists a fully supported encoding which can
display both ASCII and native characters. The *master* control file in
the package would have to use UTF-8, sure, but not the Packages
files generated from it.

The *only* additional infrastructure with this is a little support in
dpkg/apt (output right header from control, download Packages-<lang>),
plus an override mechanism - unlike your solution, which requires code
to handle all the gettext stuff as well as management of the
translation package (which would be automated, but that automation
also needs to be coded). I fail to see why you think this solution is
preferable.

[snip]
> using my "fr" environnment I could'n reconfigure debconf to use the
> Gnome frontend, it wasn't listed in the proposed choices because the
> french translation was outdated and didn't include the new Gnome
> frontend. The contrary can happen, a choice has been removed but my
> french translation does still propose it :( I should have submitted
> a bug about this so that we can find a solution for debconf ...

Hm, IMHO the package maintainer should be intelligent enough to notice
that he has made an incompatible change to the templates, and as a
result delete/comment out all the translations. Or did you use
translations from a different source than the package itself?

Cheers,

  Richard

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