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Re: I18n of Packages files

On Wed, Sep 20, 2000 at 10:06:15AM +0200, Peter Makholm wrote:
> Their suggestion (they all rpm-users in some way) was to based package
> localization om gettext. Im not sure I see the actual bennefits of it
> when we're talking translating files and not just lines of output from
> an ordinary program.

Do you mean that they wanted to make po files for, let's say, dpkg that
would contain descriptions from 'Packages' files?

> 1. What is the goal?
> Should every package description be translated or is it enough that
> the base system is translated and language dependend packages (like
> dictionaries).
> (I think that RedHat only ``supports'' a language if the distribution
> is fully translated into a language (installer and
> package-descriptions).)

I guess the best way is to create the necessary infrastructure, ie. support
in dpkg etc. for the translated fields, that would allow fallback to
original Description: if description for the chosen language for the
particular package didn't exist.

This would allow translators to translate the descriptions of the packages
they find most important (they'll probably begin with base packages, anyway

I don't think delaying the support for a language until it is complete is
sane. Translations will always lag behind the originals, especially when you
rely on volunteers. Maybe in RH it is different, it is a company, not an
organization, after all.

> 2. What kind of infrastrucktur is the optimal?
> Should translations be made on package time or could thay be included
> in the distribution in some other way?

I translated a few Debian-specific packages, and personally have never had
problems with maintainers accepting it. (Quite the opposite, in fact :-)

The Descriptions don't change very often, and if including of translations
will look like I described it (ie. copy one file to your packages 'debian'
directory), then I don't think we need any special way to include the


+--------------------------------+ The reason we come up with new versions
|Marcin Owsiany                  | is not to fix bugs. It's the stupidest
|porridge@pandora.info.bielsko.pl| reason to buy a new version
+--------------------------------+ I ever heard.            - Bill Gates

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