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Ways to indicate a string freeze

I can sometimes lose track of which of my various projects (native and
upstream) are going through string freezes for translation and I'm
wondering if there is a way for one of the various summary pages in
Debian to help out. Currently, I keep having to refer to the
debian-i18n list archives and searching for the announcement email.

String freezes come and go, so a static news item on the PTS is out,
and it would be good to fit this into the scripts used for calling a
string freeze for Debian packages so something in devscripts might be
useful or something that can be called from podebconf-report-po.

True, a lot of translation happens upstream but if upstream string
freezes are also indicated within Debian, it could help people realise
why bug reports are not being fixed or why delays occur elsewhere.
(Debconf string freezes tend to be very short because the number of
strings is small, manpage translations can have string freezes lasting
a month or more.)

A string freeze can sometimes be inferred by lots of [INTL:] bug
reports on the BTS but these take time to appear (and sometimes only
appear at the very end or don't appear at all if translations are
updated directly).

The mechanism could also be used by the release team to indicate a
release freeze affecting a particular package - I'm thinking really of
a box on the PTS along the lines of ToDo and Testing etc. where
problems and issues are declared as transient items with a text entry
clarifying the meaning of the heading itself. So a translation freeze
could contain text indicative that it is the manpages or the debconf
strings being translated and a release freeze could indicate that the
release team called the freeze etc.

Is the PTS the right place?

Would it be a good thing for us to provide?

Maybe once it is available, DDPO could also indicate the status -
either as an optional column or as a flag against the source package
name (next to [PTS] [pool])?

If the standard news interface (pts-news@qa.d.o) for the PTS allowed
deletion (preserving pts-static-news for truly permanent items), the
existing news support could be used, merely by adding a BCC to
podebconf-report-po. It's always struck me as odd that the Developer
Reference describes using pts-news for announcements like "final
packages are expected next week" but then adds a warning that such a
definitively temporal announcement cannot ever be deleted.


Neil Williams

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