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Translation maintenance requires direct branch commits. (Doesn't it?)

From: Erik Huelsmann <e.huelsmann_at_gmx.net>
Date: 2004-09-09 22:00:25 CEST

Several translation maintainers have mentioned this and I have promised to
write about it. In this mail I'm trying to find out if I understand the
issue correctly. Please feel free to comment. (Or rather: please comment!

The translation maintenance process - short version - with a single line of
1. Generate a template from the sources which describes the current state
wrt to translateable messages.
2. If there is a file which already contains messages merge the new state
with the old messages, marking those obsolete which are not in the new
template anymore.
3. Now the translator can remove obsolete messages and add new translations.

So far so good. The merge process in step (2) does not only add and or
remove messages, but also updates the filenames+line numbers associated with
non-changed messages to match those in the current tree. Due to this fact,
the template (and its derived updated message files) are tree-specific.

Now when the tree is branched, on trunk development continues. If branch
development halts, there is no issue if all translations were complete at
branchtime. But normally code development does continue and possibly
development too, at least they were not complete at branch time.

When developing the branch translation, it is required to run 'make
locale-gnu-po-update' to update translations to the latest state of
translateable messages in the tree. Upon committing this change, any merge
from trunk will conflict on the line numbers included in the messages file
(since after some time the line numbers on trunk will differ from those on
the branch).

Also, after some time, messages which are on trunk won't be in the branch
(these won't be really problematic) and messages on the branch won't be on
trunk (these are problematic, since they will be removed from the
translation at some time). With code changes you can selectively select
which changes to port to the branch, but with translation maintenance, my
experience (until now) is that commits are large scale updates which are not
one to one associateble with code changes. Therefor it won't be possible to
port over message translations as easily from trunk as it for code.

I wrote the above a week ago and I have been trying to put into this mail
some examples of situations where branch commits are unavoidable. I think I
can't yet explain really clear why one would need branch commits, but as I
promised to send the mail, I'd like translation maintainers to help me out
here and fill in the hole in the explanation.



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Received on Thu Sep 9 22:01:11 2004

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