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Re: po-debconf and cvs

On Tue, Sep 23, 2003 at 05:20:59PM +0200, Bartosz Zapalowski wrote:
> Hi
> Polish Debian Documentation Project would like to start translations of
> po-debconf templates. Since there will be more packages using po-debconf
> because of obsoleting old template solution, there should be some
> central repository of po-debconf templates and translations.
> The ideal way would be to use CVS.

I also think so. My plan was to put the material found by the
w.d.o/intl/l10n generating scripts into a CVS with a nice merge mecanism
adapted to po files. 

Then, a mail robot in the spirit of the one used on 
would be used to handle incoming signed mails from translators, check the
correctness of their work and merge it in the CVS.

Finally, a nice tool in the dh_ spirit would allow the maintainer to
retrieve the existing translation against their package and include it.

That was my plan when I begun to hack the first version of w.d.o/intl/l10n,
that Denis quile heavily modified and cleaned in the meanwhile, and that
still my plan.

There was 2 very difficult issues: finding the files to translate in the
packages and finding a good internationalization of material lacking such
things such as debconf templates and documentation. The first issue is now
addressed by those scripts (which I used to call DTC for debian translation
center before realizing it was too early to call them that way). i18n of
debconf is now addressed by po-debconf, and the i18n is in pass of finding a
solution in po4a (but this tool is not completelly mature yet).

Here is my roadmap for the future. Any advice or help is welcome. Order

 - Put the material in a CVS
   - Find a CVS host accepting to deal with the load it will induce.
   - Setup the tools around CVS to have proper merge with msgmerge instead
     of a brutal replacement of file
   - Modify the wannabe-DTC scripts to put the material into that CVS
 - Let the translator put their work into that CVS
   - First, using the classical CVS solutions
   - Setup a mail daemon checking the validity of signed mails and their po
     file attachement which can be used to provide the write access without
     the possibility to break anything in the CVS (with no need of rollback).
   - Widespread the use of that robot

 - Let the maintainer get the translations from that CVS
   - First, using a classical read-only CVS access
   - make a nicer interface, using a script or something
   - Allow maintainer to put the translation manually, for example a week
     before the real release so that translators are given the time to do
     their work without needing to reupload translation only packages such
     as JoeyH makes all the time (thanks to him)

 - Improve the i18n of documentation to fit into that picture
   - work on po4a to make it more reliable (mainly documentation bugs are
     known for now, but I guess that this poor documentation prevented real
     users to use it and break it in more critical ways)
   - Add support for the missing formats (mainly docbook-xml and texinfo)

> I know there is 
> http://people.debian.org/~barbier/l10n/material/po/
> where I can find a nice directory structure of packages with po-debconf
> support.
> The problem is, we need as automated synchronization mechanism as it is
> possible.

That's the next step in my mind.

> If we stick to the current situation, I'd like you placed a quick and
> easy parsing list, which would consist of at least package names which
> have po-debconf support. Better - it would contain the list of all files
> under http://people.debian.org/~barbier/l10n/material/po/ with some
> version information. The reason is that recursing through the subdirectories
> just to check if there are any interesting files is too much work for
> webserver and downloading each template translation just to see if it's
> up-to-date or not is bandwidth loss.

I guess that instead of hacking around the hackish wanabee-DTC scripts, we
should beter integrate the cvs stuff in it.

> I know of http://www.debian.org/intl/l10n/po-debconf/pl
> where I can find statistics, which can be parsed, but is there any text
> version of it?

The DB used to generate the statistics page is available from

It is updated every day.

> Please also CC me because I'm not subscribed to this list.

Please subscribe, it would make our collaboration easier.

Thanks, Mt.

This message has been made up using recycled ideas and language constructs.
No tree has been cut nor animal harmed in process of making it.

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