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Re: Work started on Release Notes for Etch

On Sunday 17 September 2006 19:57, Yuri Kozlov wrote:
> 2006/9/17, Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>:
> > See [1] for general information on how to get a checkout from the DDP
> > CVS.
> http://cvs.debian.org/ddp/manuals.sgml/release-notes/?root=debian-doc&o
> Hey, where are .po files ? :)
> po4a is not ready for release-notes sgml ?

Using po files is possible and was indeed done as an experiment for a few 
translations (including by myself for Dutch and IIRC for French) last 
year using debiandoc2pot and po2debiandoc.

At some point however we ended up with a few extremely long strings which 
made use of PO files practically impossible. See for example:
Look for the string starting with the comment "#. <p> 1518--1660".

AFAIK both me and Fred went back to straight translation of the SGML file 
at about the same time. For myself I concluded that I prefer editing the 
SGML file directly, especially as it is easier to track changes in the 
original using CVS diff than looking at a fuzzy string in a PO file 

Using po4a was suggested last year too [1], but I don't think it was 
actually tried. My personal main objection against po4a is that it will 
sometimes split one sentence into two strings. Some experiments were done 
to find a solution to that, but I don't think anything was actually 

We never integrated creation/update of the POT and PO files and generation 
of the SGML files into the build process, but just managed things locally 
and committed both the PO and the SGML files.

If someone wants to work on this, I have no objection. But IMO the 
following conditions should apply:
- don't force translators to use PO files; direct translation of SGML
  should be valid too
- warn people about the pitfalls
- make sure that problems generating SGML from a PO file only breaks that
  translation and not the whole automated build


[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-i18n/2005/05/msg00097.html

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