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Re: translations of documentation



In article <19981108182946.E1407@debian.org>, "James A. Treacy" <treacy@debian.org> writes:
> Is there any mechanism in place for handling translations of Debian
> documentation? I believe all the documentation is in CVS which is a
> good start. We need to also set up CVS for any group that wishes to
> translate documentation.

The Debiandoc Project is ahead of the curve on that count, since we
already manage all documentation that we can in CVS (on
cvs.debian.org).

> Additionally, when there are multiple translations on a web site it
> is much easier if the files are served using content
> negotiation. This means that html files must have names in the
> following format: <file>.<lang>.html Links from the main page could
> explicitly point to pages in that language, but again, it is better
> if links simply state <file> as this allows for partial translations
> (if a file is not available in the preferred language, then the
> english doc is served).

> Can our current SGML system support something like this?  If not,
> how hard would it be to improve it?

To be honest, I'm not completely clear on how we could extend our SGML
system to accomodate multi-linguistic documentation and document
maintenance.

Ideally we should separate the Language Independant version of a
document from the Lanugage Specific elements.  Based on an initial
assumption that all documentation under the purview of the DDP is
Debiandoc-SGML, this is going to require us to pretty deeply carve up
the Debiandoc DTD, I fear.

An example of a full system to manage a document, focusing on
"synopticism", i.e., keeping multi-linguistic documents up to date at
all time, can be found in the article, "The Addition of a Multilingual
Component to an Existing Document Processing System",
<URL:http://www.sgmltech.com/papers/multilingual.htm>.

> Currently there is a random set of translations of Debian
> documentation on the web page. As they don't follow any guidelines,
> it is difficult to mix them in with the english versions.  Simply
> renaming files is not the solution as this will break all the
> links. Clearly we need a better solution.

Yes, I think we need a system which is fully integrated with our SGML
processing and version control system.  Even if it means we have a bit
of up-front work ahead of us.

At the simplest, we could use SGML conditionals, in conjunction with
some sugar in debiandoc2*... 

> The Debian web pages themselves are a different story. Every
> language that so desires can have their own source directory in
> which they can translate pages. Now that an annoying bug in apache
> has been found, it works quite well.

The problem with that scheme, for me, is that there is no "intra-page"
sharing of information.  I.e., if I have a chart of Debian archive
directory structure, this has to be "cut-n-pasted" between language
versions.

.....A. P. Harris...apharris@onShore.com...<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>


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