Documentation proposal

Jannis Pohlmann jannis at
Mon May 4 12:44:06 CEST 2009

On Mon, 04 May 2009 10:55:43 +0200
Mike Massonnet <mmassonnet at> wrote:

> Jannis Pohlmann wrote:
> > On Mon, 4 May 2009 10:26:33 +0200
> > Nick Schermer <nickschermer at> wrote:
> >> The advantage of a hook is that we also have all the translations
> >> in the docs package and keep them there (if we're going to use
> >> docbook xml2po kinda stuff, bit harder to write but easier for
> >> translators to track changes). I'm not sure, but I think if we
> >> merge all the doc translations, a lot of duplicated strings will
> >> show up, which makes it easier for translators.
> > 
> > I'm against too complex hooks. I also have the feeling that the good
> > old gettext translation method is not really suited for continuous
> > text. IMHO the little syntax overhead you have with reST makes .po
> > files almost pointless.
> Of course the po file is not readable, as good as the original file,
> but the most important thing here is to keep the translation synced
> with the english text. So unless there isn't a good solution for that
> without xml2po, I had recommend the use of the po files (even
> mandatory).

BTW, we'd have the same copy + synchronization issue with a wiki-based
solution. I still don't think .po files are the best way to go for
continuous text like e.g. user guide. The only benefit we get is better
synchronization. The downside is that translating paragraphs out of
context (in .po files) is less fun. And we'd still have some of the
markup in those strings, so why not go with copies right from the

To emphasize the difference between our usual translations and
documentation even more: the documentation will contain way more
text than our applications and libraries. Translating them is a task on
its own. I doubt that translating the docs will work without dedicated
documentation translators. I'm not too worried about the
synchronization if the communication between the documentation people
works well (and there are clearly defined deadlines for when work on
the English docs has to be finished).

The focus should be on having complete and up to date English
documentation. That's quite a challenge already. 

  - Jannis
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