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Re: Menu system rewrite update (Aug 6 2002)

On Sat, Aug 10, 2002 at 04:18:59PM -0500, Chris Lawrence wrote:
> If this is something that is actually important for translation
> in general, the place to take it up is the XDG working group;
> however, KDE and GNOME seem (IMO) to take translation seriously,
> and they have not proposed such a header, so it appears they
> manage very well without it.

Yes, and I will try to explain why.
The Desktop Entry Standard specifies what an installed .desktop
file must contain.  Now have a look at GNOME desktop files, e.g.
First, there is no .desktop file, but a .desktop.in.  This file
looks like a .desktop file, but some entries are prepended with an
underscore.  Such entries are marked as *translatable*.
Tools automatically extract translatable strings into POT files,
merge them with existing PO files and generate localized .desktop
files.  Look at .po files under
and search for strings extracted from gnumeric.desktop.in.h.

As you can see GNOME has no problems with this specification
because they have defined their own standard for .desktop.in
files.  Idem for KDE, they manage localized .desktop files
through PO files.

If we have no defined standard for managing translations of
.desktop files, tools for extracting translatable strings are
very hard to write and maintain, that's my whole point.
Now we could discuss what is the best method, and the GNOME's
one is much better than mine.
Is it reasonable to require that source packages ship a
.desktop.in file and manage translations with PO files?
I would really love to see this solution adopted.


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