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Re: how to handle i18n Description field in debian/control file?

On Mon, May 05, 2008 at 01:04:46AM +0200, Thomas Harding wrote:
> On Sun, May 04, 2008 at 06:53:08PM +0200, Jens Seidel wrote:
> > > I wonder what is the way to internationalize "Description: " field
> > > in control files (got a warning about both missing Description field
> > > and unknown _Description field while build a package when I use
> > > the underscore and add it to po-debconf handling).
> > 
> > Have a look at ddtp.debian.net and the links on this page.
> currently hosted in http://ftp.fr.debian.org/debian/dists/sid/main/i18n/
> It seems lenny's apt downloads that files on demand.

Right, it does.

> It also seems that these files are not extracted from packages sources


> or binaries, in what it breaks habits, and IMHO, is harmfull, especially
> when building private repositories, eventually with "private" packages,
> as, for example, http://www.debian-multimedia.org/.

You can probably also provide a private Translation-fr.bz2 file in
debian/dists/sid/main/i18n/. The format is trivial.

> So, I wonder if a /debian/controlI10n directory or so, contained in each
> source package, will do the job as well as current (future distro) ddtp.
> I expect that the two systems have their qualities and drawbacks:
> ddtp offers versability for translators, and gives no extra work
> to package maintainer.

Right, just asking the package maintainer to upload a new package just
because a translation got updated would cause a lot of work. On the
other side if would allow maintainers to fix translations as well if
e.g. a URL changes or a typo was fixed (which invalidates all

> So, a good way will be to keep the good ddtp system, and giving package
> maintainers the ability to incorporate the translations in their
> packages, together with an extraction system (maybe a TimeStamp: field
> will be usefull, too :).

It is already ensured that only up-to-date translations are used by
evaluating the Description-md5: field (which refers to the English
description) in Translation-*.bz2 files.

I think the current scheme is indeed preferred, especially since it works
(with little bit more work) also for private repositories. You are right
that for such cases some improvements could be implemented but consider
that DDTP is Open Source. Every archive maintainer can install a copy
of it as well :-) There are also plans to integrate DDTP into other

Let's care about offical Debian packages first, there is still a lot
to translate ...


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