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[bug-gettext] msgcat does not cumulate file positions comments

From: Stephen Casner
Subject: [bug-gettext] msgcat does not cumulate file positions comments
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 17:04:50 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.00 (BSF 1167 2008-08-23)

I'm trying to use msgcat to gather the PO files from a set of related
projects into one file.  My problem is that for strings that are
common between the master PO file and the one I am trying to merge in,
and where the master PO file includes a non-empty msgstr, the file
position comments are kept only from the master PO file and the ones
from the other PO file are ignored.  That policy does not seem right.

I'm msgcat (GNU gettext-tools) 0.14.6 because I can't update due to a
long explanation that is not appropriate here, so if this policy has
changed in a later version I'd be happy to be informed.

In this version, the documentation says "File positions from all PO
files will be cumulated."  I found bug 33066, "msgcat doesn't merge
file positions with --use-first" which resulted in a documentation
change to remove that sentence.  However, I'm not using --use-first,
and the result is the same no matter which of the two PO files I put
first.  If the first file has an empty msgstr and the second file has
a non-empty msgstr, then --use-first does not have any effect; just
the file position comments from the second file are put into the

If I make the msgstr be empty in both files or non-empty in both
files, then the file position comments from both files are cumulated.
In that scenario, if I add the --use-first option, then only the file
position comments from the first file are used.

Perhaps this policy is intentional in a manner similar to the policy
in msgmerge to keep the file position comments from REF.pot but
discard those from DEF.po, except that policy is the opposite of what
I see here because REF.pot would be the file with no translations.

Maybe the solution I'm supposed to use is to do this msgcat merging
with POT files and then use msgmerge to add in the old translations?

Steve Casner
Packet Design, Inc.

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