since the code into a common cmake module has been merged and we already
have some cases of actual use, I will do some recap.
On Monday 16 of March 2020 20:23:19 Slávek Banko wrote:
Hi to all,
some time ago we launched the TDE Weblate Translation Workspace - TWTW.
The first step was integration for translating applications. This seems
to be successful. That's why I'm preparing the second step - integration
for translating desktop-style files.
Integration to translate desktop style files required several things
that had to be prepared in advance. Now everything seems ready. However,
before we move forward, I need some things to discuss with you:
--1. What is suitable for translating?
Gettext since version 0.19 includes support for desktop style files.
This is great so we can easily create and update POT files. By default,
for desktop files the keywords are: Name, GenericName, Comment, Icon and
Keywords. For our needs we add Description, ExtraNames and
Although the keyword list seems reasonable, I have doubts about "Icon".
The icon name is often the same as the application name. This could
result in the icon name being translated inadvertently.
What is your opinion?
Our view proved to be correct because in a newer version of gettext, Icon
was removed from the keywords.
In any case, regardless of gettext, we now extract strings with our own
CMake function, because by doing so we get the correct reference to the
source file line, and besides, we add the variable name as a comment
available to the translator.
--2. How to structure translation templates?
If you worked in TWTW, you probably know that the translations here are
structured into two levels - project => component. Where the component
corresponds to one particular translation template. We used the projects
for the basic division - dependencies, main modules (individual
projects), libraries, applications.
The question is how to generate POT templates for desktop file
translations? Here are some fundamentally different options:
a) Create a separate POT template for each desktop file => advantage -
it will be very clear, disadvantage - there will be many new components.
However, each with a small number of strings.
b) Incorporate desktop files translations as part of existing POT
templates for individual components (applications) => advantage - there
will be only a few new components, disadvantage - there will be less
clarity, this may prevent correct translation of the strings in the
desktop file if the same string in another context is used inside the
c) Merge templates of multiple desktop files into one common template =>
advantage - no too many new components arise, disadvantages same as for
b) with higher risk of collision of identical strings with different
Although there was a consensus on variant a), it turned out that it would
be appropriate to choose different ways for different desktop files. For
example, a) is appropriate for application icons, while c) may be
appropriate for protocols. For comparison see:
--3. How to structure components for desktop file translations?
If there will be a separate templates for translating desktop files,
then there are two possible ways to integrate them into TWTW:
a) Add as additional components to existing projects => advantages -
translations will be close to the applications to which they belong,
disadvantages - the number of components in projects will increase.
b) Create a separate project for all desktop file translations =>
advantages - no increase in the number of components in existing
projects, disadvantages - some TWTW checks will not be able to be
applied because the application and its desktop files will be different
There was a consensus on variant a).
--4. How to organize translation files in source git repositories?
Currently, the organizing of the translation files is inconsistent.
Therefore, it seems appropriate to harmonize the layout of directories
Here are a few of the variations used:
For desktop file translations, all languages are required to be
located in the same directory, named in accordance with the language.
Do you prefer the directory name "po" or "translations"? In this
directory, it seems to me a good breakdown by purpose - "messages",
"desktops", because this will allow in the future to add "docs",
"manpages". The structure could look like this:
What is your opinion?
Here was a consensus on the layout:
There may be a simplified variant for messages if the application contains
a single catalog:
Similarly, if an application contains multiple desktop files for which it
makes sense to be merged into one catalog:
--Thank you for reading to the end!
As a reward, here's a link to a real demonstration of creating desktop
files translated using PO files:
Thank you for your suggestions and ideas.