Internationalisation and localisation in Debian

Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña

The Debian Project

Christian Perrier

The Debian Project

Debian GNU/Linux is one of the most ambitious free software project, putting together a large number of developers from all around the world working in building a free operating system.

This document describes the rationale and management of internationalisation and localisation within the Debian project, including the current infrastructure and tools available to both translators and package maintainers.

Keywords: free software, translation, internationalisation, localisation, operating system

This book is distributed under the terms and conditions of GPL version 2 or later.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
1.1. English as the official language?
1.2. The importance of internationalisation and localisation
1.3. The internationalisation and localisation process
1.4. Internationalising, translating and being internationalised and translated
1.4.1. How are translations managed within Debian?
1.4.2. I18N & L10N FAQ for maintainers
1.4.3. I18N & L10N FAQ for translators
1.4.4. Best current practice concerning l10n
2. I18n/L10n projects in Debian
2.1. Translation of the Debian website
2.2. Translation of Debian tools
2.2.1. Debconf translation
2.2.2. DDTP
2.3. Translation of installed systems
2.3.1. Localization-config
2.3.2. Language tasks
2.3.3. Translation packages
2.4. Translation of documentation
2.4.1. SGML/XML documentation
2.4.2. Debian manpages translation
2.4.3. Coordination of documentation translation
3. i18n/l10n infrastructure in Debian
3.1. Po Translation statistics
3.2. Website translation statistics
3.3. Debian installer translation statistics
3.4. Translation robots
3.4.1. Translation stages
3.4.2. Pseudo-urls used by the robot
3.4.3. Example of translation robot usage
3.4.4. Future changes for translation robots
4. i18n/l10n tools in Debian
4.1. Generic tools: gettext
4.2. Translation headers: wml
4.3. Po for everything (po4a)
4.3.1. Converting existing/translated documentation to PO
4.3.2. Maintaining translated documentation with po4a
4.3.3. Recommended po4a organisation for software
4.4. Debconf-updatepo and po-debconf tools
4.4.1. The podebconf-report-po utility
4.5. Documentation's doc-check
4.6. Use of the BTS for translation work
4.6.1. Translators
4.6.2. Package maintainers
5. Relationship with other projects
5.1. Translation packaging
5.2. Handling of bug reports for upstream translations
5.3. Handling of errors in upstream translations