Translating manpages

Dimitris Glezos dimitris at
Fri Apr 16 18:23:49 UTC 2010

On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 9:09 AM, daniel cabrera <logan at> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 3:03 AM, Inna Kabanova
> <ikabanova at> wrote:
>> Good day!
>> ----- "Stephen Gallagher" <sgallagh at> пишет:
>>> I want to derail this thread slightly. How would one go about
>>> configuring a project to enable translations of manpages by
>>> Transifex?
>> We (Russian team) have already tried to use Transifex for translating manpages [1]. But we still have some problems with on-line translating. And everything else is all right. So I believe this project can be multilingual.
>> [snip]
>>> We write our manpages in Docbook XML, so it can be easily converted
>>> into
>>> Troff, HTML, etc.
>>> My question is: how can we extract strings from this XML so that we
>>> can
>>> add them to the .pot file for Transifex?
>> As I know you can do it with po4a.
>> [1] -
>> --
> So, Yulia, Inna, just to be certain, do you think your team in
> will allow other languages to join you and to use the structure you've
> created? If yes, can we use your repositorys, or perhaps you think
> that it's better host the files somewhere else?

I'm hoping the answer to these questions would be yes. =)

This effort be created as a global, common project, in order to
leverage the common toolchain. One repository should be created which
contains all source and language files. Something like "CMTP: Common
Manpage Translation Project". We should create a Google Group with
some instructions posted, etc.

Any downstream distribution which would like to re-use some of these
translations, could just use this repo as their RPM/DEB source repo in
their spec files. When we succeed in delivering a first set of
translations, the package maintainers could be informed about the
existence of this effort.

Downstream contributors (e.g. translators of Fedora, Ubuntu, etc)
interested in translating manpages could be encouraged to contribute
to this project.

> [1]

My questions mainly revolve around technical issues, like, how do we
keep these PO files in sync with the source repositories? With my
(poor) understanding, I can imagine a workflow as follows:

 1. We create a repo on github/bitbucket/foo which contains the PO files.

 2. The repo contains a text file with direct download links to the
nroff files of upstream projects.

 3. A sync script is run every few days which downloads these files
and updates the PO files.

 4. A script/Makefile rule is provided to the developer which he can
run before he releases.

 5. A new developer can request the addition of his project/URL by
opening a ticket to our ticketing system.

Do these make sense?


> Stephen, I think it'd be great if you could try (and then tell us
> how it went) extracting the strings you need to be translated with
> po4a, because maybe other package maintainers will be interested in
> this project.

Dimitris Glezos

Transifex: The Multilingual Publishing Revolution --

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