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Re: Preview of the i18n and l10n paper for Debcon6


Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña <jfs@computer.org> (01/04/2006):
> Christian Perrier and I have been writting a paper for a round table at 
> Debconf6 [1]. This paper tries to cover most (if not all) of the l10n/i18n
> projects in Debian and we would like it to be something everybody can
> contribute it (we will eventually add it to the DDP, after Debconf6).
> For the time being, and before we provide the last version to the Debconf6
> committee we would like other people in the i18n team to review it. You can
> find it (HTML, PDF and XML versions) here:
> http://people.debian.org/~jfs/debconf6/
> I would really appreciate if others could forward me patches improving that
> document. Notice there are still some FIXME and TBDs there (specially in the
> last chapter), if somebody wants to tackle those fully (i.e. writting the
> missing sections) it would be great!

Here is my review of the paper. I haven't written any patch yet, as I'd
prefer to know if you agree with my comments before taking any action.
Just tell me what you think, and I will provide the patches.

=== Section 1.4 ===

I would move the two FAQs (1.4.2 and 1.4.3) as annexes to the end
of the document. It will allow us to improve these FAQs with new
items, without having an introduction taking 50 % of the document.

The best current practices may be spread among the two FAQs and the
begining of section 1.4.

The result is that the title of section 1.4.1 can be removed.

More precisely on the two small FAQs:

= Section 1.4.2 =

* How to get a given text translated

second paragraph:
- This is in my opinion absolutely wrong. Robots can (and do) detect
  gettext files, manpages, etc. It's only if you want translation teams
  to prioritize your package that you should ask on -i18n. However, to
  ask on debian-i18n is recommended for non Debian-specific packages.
- The sentence "your translated material will be emailed to you" may
  lead to confusion. The use of the BTS is still recommended.

* How to get a given translation updated

- Should we talk about podebconf-report-po in this FAQ?
- To ask to add a warning is appropriate only if the translation is not
- It is sometimes appropriate not to provide an outdated translation:
  if it is very outdated (let's say > 50% untranslated), or if there
  are critical changes (extreme example: -i and -f options are
  interverted between two versions of rm).

= Section 1.4.3 =

* How to help the translation effort?

- the first prerequisite is to understand how the corresponding l10n
  team is working. Some of them have webpages at w.d.o/intl/<language>/,

=== Section 2.1 ===

To state that gettext is used for the website is technically incorrect,
as it is not the "real" gettext that is used. However, I don't think it
is important to make the distinction.

The website is built 6 times per day (every 4 hours), instead of once a
day, as it is explained.

=== Section 2.2 ===, introduction paragraph: this section is duplicated with section
4.4 (debconf-updatepo and po-debconf tools). A single crossref should be
sufficient, instead of repetitive paragraphs. and are too similar, it should be refactorized, for
example at the beginning of section 2.2.1. and I also submitted a few days ago a lintian
check (#362145), so this section will have to be updated if this patch
is included. I'd prefer "about 700 packages" instead of a precise number
which is changing every day. podebian-doc is now removed from unstable, which is much more
than "deprecated".

=== Section 2.4 ===

2.4.1: Some members of the French team are using po4a to handle the SGML
translations. This is still at a testing level, but maybe we should
mention it, as it is giving very good results.
(http://haydn.debian.org/~thuriaux-guest/ddp/manuals.sgml/) Once again, we are currently updating the manpages-fr package
using po4a. As this infrastructure can be easily transfered to other
distribution (to share common strings) and to other languages (to share
maintenance), we may mention it in this document. It is also at a
testing level, but between 100 and 150 manpages have been
updated/translated so far.
(svn://svn.debian.org/svn/pkg-manpages-fr) Is anybody still using this CVS-DDP module? If not, just
mention it with a small paragraph, not with a complete description.

=== Section 3.1 ===

I don't understand the second paragraph. AFAIK, only dl10n-check is
needed to parse the source packages, fetch the material and create the
database with the statistics. This database is updated daily at (1 PM
GMT+2) and the statistics pages are built as normal pages of the
The first part is done on Denis' account.
We may give the link to the project page:

=== Section 3.2 ===

I'm afraid that to complete this section will make section 2.1 obsolete

=== Section 3.4

3.4.3: if you want to be complete, you should add "/ll.po" at the end of
every subject.

=== Section 4.1

For your po file example to be complete, you should fill the Content-type
and Content-transfer-encoding, especially since it is often the most
difficult to understand for new translators.

=== Section 4.6.1

Is a tutorial explaining how to install reportbug really needed in such
a document? IMO, it is really out of topic. Otherwise, you should also
explain how to compile wml, how to install po-debconf, ... which would
make the document 300 pages long.



Thomas Huriaux

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