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Languages in manpages-l10n


recently someone of you asked me about the languages in manpages-l10n,
but I can't find the mail back... Nevertheless, here's some
explanations about:

The current manpages-l10n has been merged originally from manpages-de,
manpages-fr and manpages-fr-extra. Some time later I've imported some
old plain text translations from Polish and (abandoned) Romanian and
Dutch translation projects. Finally, a Brazilian Portuguese translator
wrote to me and asked for addition of a framework for his language. So
we support now six languages, while Dutch is currently unmaintained.

Let's have a look at other manpages-* projects (someone of you had
asked for Italian...): Most of the projects don't exist anymore. The
tarballs which Debian uses for the packages are mostly more than 10,
even 20 years old. But as long as no one is willing to reanimate a
certain language and update the translations with our latest
templates, we can't do anything. Regarding Italian, I've written to
the ILDP mailing list and got an answer (can't link to the mail, the
list archive hasn't been updated anymore since april 2019):

 Am Sa., 4. Jan. 2020 um 13:28 Uhr schrieb Silvano Sallese
> Hi Mario,
> Thank you to contact us and for your interest.
> The last translated Italian version of the man pages is 4.16, but not yet published on the PLUTO servers.
> Let us check the changes you are talking about in your email.
> Thank you again.
> Saluti,
> Silvano
> Il sab 4 gen 2020, 10:46 Mario Blättermann <mario.blaettermann@gmail.com> ha scritto:
>> Hello,
>> having a look at the current state of manpages-it, it seems that the
>> project has been abandoned. I don't recognize any activity since 2016,
>> and even the latest release 4.08 hasn't been packaged for any
>> distribution.
>> Regarding the translated man pages itself, the texts are not
>> up-to-date in most cases. Of course, it is quite difficult to update
>> such textual translations. Using po4a [1] makes it much easier through
>> using normal po files in a gettext based workflow.
>> Recently we (the developers of manpages-de) have merged the existing
>> German and French translations into a new project named manpages-l10n
>> [2]. After that, we have added Polish po files and imported some old
>> Dutch and Romanian translations. What about to also add the Italian
>> manpages there…?
>> The workflow of manpages-l10n is as follows:
>> Currently we support four distributions, Archlinux, Mageia Cauldron,
>> Debian Sid and Debian Buster (the latter will probably be replaced
>> with Debian Bullseye soon). We download packages according to our
>> lists in upstream/*/packages.txt. The manpages will be extracted from
>> the packages and po4a generates translation templates. The templates
>> will be merged with the existing po files. Because this usually
>> happens once or twice a month, the po files are almost in sync with
>> the original manpages from the distribution packages. After this, the
>> po files can be updated by the translators, and we roll out a new
>> release usually four or five times a year.
>> To limit the effort, we maintain some helper scripts and a compendium
>> for each language. The scripts can create new po files and fill them
>> with common strings from the compendium, format the po files and
>> remove some artifacts from older upstream versions, write changes from
>> a recently proofread po file to the compendium and write the changes
>> back to the other files, generate an addendum with the translator
>> names and license informations, and much more.
>> Have a look at the attachment. The tarball contains eight imported po
>> files, one for each manpage section. In »original« you see the
>> imported files as written from the last translator, and in »updated«
>> you see what you get after merging with the latest template. As far it
>> is was possible without speaking Italian, I have fixed some things,
>> like trivial formatting changes or some strings which appear in po
>> files but actually can be copied directly and don't have to be
>> translated.
>> Maybe you are wondering how it was possible to import all the texts
>> without speaking Italian at all: The existing textual translations
>> contain hints about the original text which translation it has been
>> derived from. So it was quite easy to download the appropriate package
>> (for example, manpages-3.53.tar.xz), unpack the manpages and create a
>> temporary translation template with po4a. As I already did with the
>> first eight files, I would do this for all existing files, so you
>> don't have to bother with the import and could concentrate on the
>> essentials: translating the manpages. Moreover, you don't have to
>> bother with the infrastructure, we do all needed updates for you.
>> If you can imagine to reanimate Italian manpage translations by
>> merging manpages-it into manpages-l10n, please let me know. We would
>> give you write access to the Git repository to simplify submitting
>> changes. If you agree, I would create a new Git branch, and once all
>> has been imported, the branch can be merged into master. But don't
>> expect too much, there remain 131 text files to import, this will take
>> a few weeks, maybe months.
>> [1] https://po4a.org/
>> [2] https://salsa.debian.org/manpages-l10n-team/manpages-l10n
>> Best Regards,
>> Mario

But I don't expect any new activity in the nearest future. So we will
have two kinds of manpages-* packages next time: Some of them will
come from manpages-l10n and ship up-to-date translations, and some
other will contain the same old garbage as they already had over all
these years. Do you remember how manpages-fr got kicked out of
Debian...? Maybe someone needs to do the same for any other manpages-*
packages which ship this old stuff again and again. As far as I can
see, manpages-es is already out of Debian, at least Bullseye and Sid.

Best Regards,

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