default link for untranslated books

Domingo Becker domingobecker at
Thu May 27 00:29:48 UTC 2010

2010/5/26 Ruediger Landmann <r.landmann at>:
> On 05/27/2010 03:27 AM, Eric "Sparks" Christensen wrote:
>> The easy way to do this is to publish all documents in all languages.
>> That way the guide would be available in English no matter if the text
>> was translated or not.
>> Of course this would mean partial translations would be published which,
>> in my opinion, are better than no translation.
> Actually, we can do it slightly smarter than that; Publican has an
> option for exactly this use-case: the "ignored_translations" parameter
> in the publican.cfg file.
> For example, if "ignored_translations" in the Installation Guide was set
> for Italian and Spanish, then when you built the book for those
> languages, it would ignore any PO files available and just build the
> book using the English strings. For very incomplete translations, I
> think this is better than a book mostly in English with a paragraph
> here-and-there in a translated language, but translation teams might
> have other ideas?

It's ok with 85% or more.
Books with less than that, in English.
It was discussed before.

> I can see two downsides though:
> 1. It seems wasteful to have multiple copies of exactly the same content
> stored on the server. It will also make maintaining the site much more
> difficult if the site image (web.git) grows to something like 40 times
> its current size. (although this will no longer be a problem when we
> move to a fully automated publishing system shortly)

No. Just the link.

> 2. At the moment, when you see a book in a language menu, you know that
> it is translated. The situation is not so bad for widely translated
> languages, but for less widely translated languages, users will click on
> links and most will be in English; they might not even discover that
> *any* books have been translated into their language, so the hard work
> of the translation team gets lost in a sea of English.

A new user would open his/her firefox.
It will automatically go to his/her locale, es-ES in my case.
The page for F13 will not show all the books.
And we have a good set of books, that even though in English, they
will surely cover his/her problem.
I don't want him/her to think that we only have the books shown in that page.
The titles are in English, he/she might think that those are all the
books we have.
We have more books than other linux distributions.

> In case translators have not realised, the menus are now all
> automatically generated, so it's not possible for us to manually add
> links any more. I will ask the Publican developer today whether some
> kind of "cross linking" is possible. Even if this becomes possible, it
> would solve problem 1 but not problem 2.

Would you please ask him to generate a .pot file for a chapter?
So, if there are n chapters there will only be n .pot files.
The huge number of .pot files isn't helpful for translation. It even
makes Tx's life harder. It would also prevent string repetition. To
see this issue, just run "msgfmt -c *.po" in es-ES, for example.

> I wonder if a better solution would be for me to add a prominent notice
> to the "Welcome" page to tell visitors "to see a full list of all
> documentation, change the language to English"?

Probably, but I prefer the link at the left. The user's attention will be there.

thank you for your time, Rudi.

kind regards

Domingo Becker

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