CM policy for for svnbook 1.5 translations

Jens Seidel jensseidel at
Wed Sep 17 18:46:18 CDT 2008

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 03:18:53PM -0400, Johans Marvin Taboada Villca wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 9:57 AM, Jens Seidel <jensseidel at> wrote:
> > On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 03:36:30PM +0200, Jens M. Felderhoff wrote:
> >> The English version of the SVN book 1.5 is finalized and tagged.
> >> However, translations are still in progress.
> >>
> >> Should the translations for 1.5 continue on language-specific branches
> >> or should there be a seamless transition to 1.6?
> My point is that if we are looking to maintain translating efforts in
> the same way, a reorganization can be really appreciated by us.

Yes, I agree.

> And now my own testimony, I'm still holding a "lifetime" (and
> modificated) working copy of the Spanish "fake" branch, that I started
> almost a year ago and never committed because it could had been
> material for milestone 1.1. Why to be worrying about 1.1 if I should
> have been behind 1.4 at that time?, because I cannot simply throw away
> the effort of my predecessors (to whom by the way I send my
> appreciation)  because the structure and the content had changed
> considerably, and wanted to finish the 1.1 translation, and "tag it
> somewhere". If I had done that, then what?, throw away my own efforts
> and go behind trunk?, it would have been better to copy english trunk
> again and to start from the very beginning again?, I had no clue and
> sadly stopped before beginning (all right there were another reasons
> also.)

PO is one solution for it ...

> First and promising alternative PO files, get_text and the like:
> > Using PO files it would be trivial to support multiple versions of the
> > book. This would of course require more strings to be translated but it
> > is no problem of the infrastructure.
> Clearly leans to maintain current structure and suggest that a bunch
> of localized PO files be maintained side by side, its a cleaner
> (although hardly) solution for the current status. The only
> restriction that imposes is that Win**** committers doesn't have the
> necessary tools to work (correct me if I'm wrong). I had same

Ah, forget these. If they are unable to use free software they should not
complain. They are still free to translate an ordinary (PO) text file
and could rely on a central server to check automatically built documents
from their translation. One doesn't need a lot of tools, e text editor
is sufficient. Optional: gettext is provided by cygwin, po4a is based on
Perl which is available as well, ...
(PS: Your argument applies to any programming task as well, there is not
a single tool in the Windows environment (except maybe wordpad :-) for
any kind of programming, ...)

> limitations with current tools but I got ready them using alternative
> tools (Java+Ant+XalanJ and the like).
> I've read also that has some limitations that have been noted by
> another get_text users in another contexts (like same translation of a
> particular string in different context). Forgive me if I'm reluctant:

There was never any problem up to now and I know a lot of projects using
similar workflows. At all I'm sure the documents watched by me cover at
least 5 000 English pages.

> Has this kind of translation has been done before successfully?, I
> mean we are talking about a book, not just some hundreds of localized
> strings. I know that someone can be better informed: If you are
> reading, can you elaborate?

Of course! Compare e.g.

* Debian Installation Guide,
  PO based translations: el fi hu ja ko nn pt ro ru
  sv tl vi zh_CN zh_TW
  140 pages
* Debian Release Notes,
  PO based translations: fi ja pl pt ro ru sv vi zh_CN zh_TW
  55 pages 
* Debian Developer's Reference,
  PO based translations: fr ja
  approx. 100 pages
* The book Debian Reference started using PO as well (I translated
  in the past SGML files, today I would use PO)
> That's what I learned, from reading too much and doing nothing.
> However, I'm still eager to work in the translation. I just feel like
> a writer without paper.

And do you see any specific trouble using PO, would prefer other tools, or
do you want to continue with XML (I doubt this after reading your mail)


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