This page is about moving the translations of the Debian website to gettext catalogs, commonly known as PO files.

Current infrastructure

With the current infrastructure each translation of the Debian website is basicly a fork of the English version. The translator uses the script to copy the .wml file corresponding to the page to be translated and then starts replacing the English text with the translation. This process has several drawbacks:

Benefits of gettext catalogs

Disadvantages of PO files handling

What needs to be done

  1. use po4a to generate .pot files for the entire website and write the scripts/Makefiles to automate the process and also for updating PO files when the English version changes
  2. write the necessary scripts/Makefiles to create a translated version of the site using only PO files for translation
  3. start converting languages one by one

Step 3. should probably start with languages having only small parts of the website translated in order to catch potential problems as early as possible. This has to be done in coordination with the respective translators so they can check for breakage on every step. As the process becomes more mature languages with more translations can be converted.

Another approach would be to provide an hybrid feature: if the PO file exists, use it to handle the translation, if not, use the former WML file if it exists. So the WML to PO upgrade won't be a blocker to begin using PO files (WML translations could be kept for the time beeing).

Other remarks