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Re: lynx-dev Re: message catalog files (was: da.po file)

From: Klaus Weide
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Re: message catalog files (was: da.po file)
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 14:05:15 -0500 (CDT)

On Wed, 19 Jul 2000, Webmaster Jim wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 19, 2000 at 12:52:15PM -0500, Klaus Weide wrote:
> > On Wed, 19 Jul 2000, Webmaster Jim wrote:
> > > Since I have discovered we have not just 1, but 2 Danish translation
> > > files, there needs to be a placeholder in the source so that users can
> > > find the translations. At least, we need this based on the general
> > > distribution not containing full message catalogs; 
> > Why are there placeholder PO files anyway?  I haven't yet understood
> > what they are good for.
> I use them to test the message catalog builds in the stripped-down
> release. 

I see how they can be useful to you or some other developer for testing,
but I don't think that it follows that they should be packaged.
Also, is this even something _worth_ testing?  After all, you are testing
whether something can be built which is useless to build for real use -
a lynx installation with about 3 translated messages per language.

> As the full translations are developed, I've tried to put
> pointers to the full ones in the stubs.
> > In my mind, they can easily give to the installer the impression that
> > they are the real thing, so he/she will never bother to get the real
> > ones.  After all, he/she has already installed lynx with message
> > catalogs.
> Since only about 3 messages are in the stubs, I don't think anyone
> will believe a translation is working correctly, and will then try
> to get the message :-).

Ok, I see the note at the top.  But this assumes that the person compiling
and installing lynx actually looks into those files.  Why would he/she?
Normally one doesn't look through all C source files to look for comments
either, when one just compiles and installs some software.  I don't see
why .po files are different from .c files in that respect.

Maybe you also assume that the person doing the build and install is
someone who would notice that there are only about 3 messages per language,
but that is generally not a good assumption.  It will be true on a
personal build by the user who is actually going to use lynx in his/her
language.  It generally won't be true for someone just building lynx for
a multiuser machine or for a binary package, unless that someone has a
special interest and/or knowledge about gettext and i18n.  A case in
point: the Debian packaging of lynx, see
<>.  Apparently, the Debian
maintainer's intention is to provide a lynx package with message catalogs
(the binary package contains the stub catalogs, and previous versions
contained fuller catalogs for at least some languages).  And apparently
the D.M. completely missed out on the fact that those .po files are
just stubs.

> > You also seem to be generating them with an ancient version of the
> > gettext tools (at least, the da.po included in your mail).  They
> > have incomplete (invalid) lines like
> >    "Content-Type: text/plain; charset=\n"
> > More up-to-date gettext tools (at least) barf on that, in my experience
> > (though I didn't try to repeat it right now).
> Yes, the stubs are probably cut-and-paste junk from several years of
> hacking on translation files and fairly worthless. They serve as a
> reminder of things-to-do...

I suggest to take them out of any distributed "stripped-down" source
tar/zip.  It would make things clearer:
  - THIS is the source package without NLS message catalogs.  If you
    want localized messages, either use the package below, or download
    catalogs separately (from ...).
  - THIS is the source package with NLS message catalogs (as available
    as of ...).

> > > the parallel full
> > > distribution (at has the catalogs.
> > This is a mystery URL that I've only ever seen, as far as I recall,
> > in messages from you.  If people are supposed to find it, it needs
> > to be advertised.  Someone looking at either
> > <> or <> will
> > have no idea that a "gnumatic" version or page exists, there are no
> > links.
> See
> (yes, I know it has that redirect you don't like--it's not my site

Well does anyone like it? :)

> or page).  It refers one to:
> and thence to

Even that reference is unclear.  It points to one specific file, not
to a whole directory, and the specific file is not even the latest one
right now.  And the link is introduced as only "URL information [that]
may help translators ... for if they need finer translation context",
not something a normal user who isn't a translator need to be concerned
about.  The links for "more comprehensive information" just point to
<> and <> - and from there,
no hints to "gnumatic" are available.

> The latter is the style that the Translation Project is advertising for
> users reference. I'm working on publishing the 2.8.4 URL when we have
> some newer messages worth mentioning.

I hope you can do that soon, and not wait till there's something more
"worth mentioning".  You have already done all the work - thank you! -
so it should be easily findable for someone visiting the
<> pages and not just from the TP pages.


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