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    1 Notes on the Free Translation Project
    2 *************************************
    3 
    4    Free software is going international!  The Free Translation Project
    5 is a way to get maintainers of free software, translators, and users all
    6 together, so that will gradually become able to speak many languages.
    7 A few packages already provide translations for their messages.
    8 
    9    If you found this `ABOUT-NLS' file inside a distribution, you may
   10 assume that the distributed package does use GNU `gettext' internally,
   11 itself available at your nearest GNU archive site.  But you do _not_
   12 need to install GNU `gettext' prior to configuring, installing or using
   13 this package with messages translated.
   14 
   15    Installers will find here some useful hints.  These notes also
   16 explain how users should proceed for getting the programs to use the
   17 available translations.  They tell how people wanting to contribute and
   18 work at translations should contact the appropriate team.
   19 
   20    When reporting bugs in the `intl/' directory or bugs which may be
   21 related to internationalization, you should tell about the version of
   22 `gettext' which is used.  The information can be found in the
   23 `intl/VERSION' file, in internationalized packages.
   24 
   25 Quick configuration advice
   26 ==========================
   27 
   28    If you want to exploit the full power of internationalization, you
   29 should configure it using
   30 
   31      ./configure --with-included-gettext
   32 
   33 to force usage of internationalizing routines provided within this
   34 package, despite the existence of internationalizing capabilities in the
   35 operating system where this package is being installed.  So far, only
   36 the `gettext' implementation in the GNU C library version 2 provides as
   37 many features (such as locale alias, message inheritance, automatic
   38 charset conversion or plural form handling) as the implementation here.
   39 It is also not possible to offer this additional functionality on top
   40 of a `catgets' implementation.  Future versions of GNU `gettext' will
   41 very likely convey even more functionality.  So it might be a good idea
   42 to change to GNU `gettext' as soon as possible.
   43 
   44    So you need _not_ provide this option if you are using GNU libc 2 or
   45 you have installed a recent copy of the GNU gettext package with the
   46 included `libintl'.
   47 
   48 INSTALL Matters
   49 ===============
   50 
   51    Some packages are "localizable" when properly installed; the
   52 programs they contain can be made to speak your own native language.
   53 Most such packages use GNU `gettext'.  Other packages have their own
   54 ways to internationalization, predating GNU `gettext'.
   55 
   56    By default, this package will be installed to allow translation of
   57 messages.  It will automatically detect whether the system already
   58 provides the GNU `gettext' functions.  If not, the GNU `gettext' own
   59 library will be used.  This library is wholly contained within this
   60 package, usually in the `intl/' subdirectory, so prior installation of
   61 the GNU `gettext' package is _not_ required.  Installers may use
   62 special options at configuration time for changing the default
   63 behaviour.  The commands:
   64 
   65      ./configure --with-included-gettext
   66      ./configure --disable-nls
   67 
   68 will respectively bypass any pre-existing `gettext' to use the
   69 internationalizing routines provided within this package, or else,
   70 _totally_ disable translation of messages.
   71 
   72    When you already have GNU `gettext' installed on your system and run
   73 configure without an option for your new package, `configure' will
   74 probably detect the previously built and installed `libintl.a' file and
   75 will decide to use this.  This might be not what is desirable.  You
   76 should use the more recent version of the GNU `gettext' library.  I.e.
   77 if the file `intl/VERSION' shows that the library which comes with this
   78 package is more recent, you should use
   79 
   80      ./configure --with-included-gettext
   81 
   82 to prevent auto-detection.
   83 
   84    The configuration process will not test for the `catgets' function
   85 and therefore it will not be used.  The reason is that even an
   86 emulation of `gettext' on top of `catgets' could not provide all the
   87 extensions of the GNU `gettext' library.
   88 
   89    Internationalized packages have usually many `po/LL.po' files, where
   90 LL gives an ISO 639 two-letter code identifying the language.  Unless
   91 translations have been forbidden at `configure' time by using the
   92 `--disable-nls' switch, all available translations are installed
   93 together with the package.  However, the environment variable `LINGUAS'
   94 may be set, prior to configuration, to limit the installed set.
   95 `LINGUAS' should then contain a space separated list of two-letter
   96 codes, stating which languages are allowed.
   97 
   98 Using This Package
   99 ==================
  100 
  101    As a user, if your language has been installed for this package, you
  102 only have to set the `LANG' environment variable to the appropriate
  103 `LL_CC' combination.  Here `LL' is an ISO 639 two-letter language code,
  104 and `CC' is an ISO 3166 two-letter country code.  For example, let's
  105 suppose that you speak German and live in Germany.  At the shell
  106 prompt, merely execute `setenv LANG de_DE' (in `csh'),
  107 `export LANG; LANG=de_DE' (in `sh') or `export LANG=de_DE' (in `bash').
  108 This can be done from your `.login' or `.profile' file, once and for
  109 all.
  110 
  111    You might think that the country code specification is redundant.
  112 But in fact, some languages have dialects in different countries.  For
  113 example, `de_AT' is used for Austria, and `pt_BR' for Brazil.  The
  114 country code serves to distinguish the dialects.
  115 
  116    Not all programs have translations for all languages.  By default, an
  117 English message is shown in place of a nonexistent translation.  If you
  118 understand other languages, you can set up a priority list of languages.
  119 This is done through a different environment variable, called
  120 `LANGUAGE'.  GNU `gettext' gives preference to `LANGUAGE' over `LANG'
  121 for the purpose of message handling, but you still need to have `LANG'
  122 set to the primary language; this is required by other parts of the
  123 system libraries.  For example, some Swedish users who would rather
  124 read translations in German than English for when Swedish is not
  125 available, set `LANGUAGE' to `sv:de' while leaving `LANG' to `sv_SE'.
  126 
  127    In the `LANGUAGE' environment variable, but not in the `LANG'
  128 environment variable, `LL_CC' combinations can be abbreviated as `LL'
  129 to denote the language's main dialect.  For example, `de' is equivalent
  130 to `de_DE' (German as spoken in Germany), and `pt' to `pt_PT'
  131 (Portuguese as spoken in Portugal) in this context.
  132 
  133 Translating Teams
  134 =================
  135 
  136    For the Free Translation Project to be a success, we need interested
  137 people who like their own language and write it well, and who are also
  138 able to synergize with other translators speaking the same language.
  139 Each translation team has its own mailing list.  The up-to-date list of
  140 teams can be found at the Free Translation Project's homepage,
  141 `http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/contrib/po/HTML/', in the "National teams"
  142 area.
  143 
  144    If you'd like to volunteer to _work_ at translating messages, you
  145 should become a member of the translating team for your own language.
  146 The subscribing address is _not_ the same as the list itself, it has
  147 `-request' appended.  For example, speakers of Swedish can send a
  148 message to `sv-request@li.org', having this message body:
  149 
  150      subscribe
  151 
  152    Keep in mind that team members are expected to participate
  153 _actively_ in translations, or at solving translational difficulties,
  154 rather than merely lurking around.  If your team does not exist yet and
  155 you want to start one, or if you are unsure about what to do or how to
  156 get started, please write to `translation@iro.umontreal.ca' to reach the
  157 coordinator for all translator teams.
  158 
  159    The English team is special.  It works at improving and uniformizing
  160 the terminology in use.  Proven linguistic skill are praised more than
  161 programming skill, here.
  162 
  163 Available Packages
  164 ==================
  165 
  166    Languages are not equally supported in all packages.  The following
  167 matrix shows the current state of internationalization, as of September
  168 2001.  The matrix shows, in regard of each package, for which languages
  169 PO files have been submitted to translation coordination, with a
  170 translation percentage of at least 50%.
  171 
  172      Ready PO files    bg cs da de el en eo es et fi fr gl he hr id it ja
  173                      +----------------------------------------------------+
  174      a2ps            |          []             []    []                   |
  175      bash            |          []       [] []       []                   |
  176      bfd             |                                                    |
  177      binutils        |                               []                   |
  178      bison           |          []          [] []    []                [] |
  179      clisp           |          []    []    []       []                   |
  180      cpio            |       [] []          []       [] []                |
  181      diffutils       |       [] []       [] []       [] []       []       |
  182      enscript        |          []                   []                   |
  183      error           |                      []       []                   |
  184      fetchmail       |                                                    |
  185      fileutils       |    [] [] [] []       []       [] []             [] |
  186      findutils       |       [] []          [] []    [] []       [] []    |
  187      flex            |       []             []       []                   |
  188      freetype        |                                                    |
  189      gas             |                                                    |
  190      gawk            |                               []    []             |
  191      gcal            |                                                    |
  192      gcc             |                                                    |
  193      gettext         |    [] [] [] []       []       [] []       [] [] [] |
  194      gnupg           |          []       []    []    [] []          [] [] |
  195      gprof           |                                                    |
  196      grep            |    []    []       [] [] []    [] []          []    |
  197      hello           |       [] [] []    [] [] [] [] [] []          [] [] |
  198      id-utils        |       [] []                   []                   |
  199      indent          |       [] []             []    [] []                |
  200      jpilot          |                               []                   |
  201      kbd             |                                                    |
  202      ld              |                               []                   |
  203      libc            |    [] [] [] []       []       [] []             [] |
  204      lilypond        |                                                 [] |
  205      lynx            |    [] [] []                                     [] |
  206      m4              |    [] [] [] []                [] []       []    [] |
  207      make            |       [] []          []       [] []             [] |
  208      mysecretdiary   |          []                                        |
  209      nano            |                      []          []       []       |
  210      opcodes         |                                                    |
  211      parted          |          []                      []             [] |
  212      ptx             |       [] []          [] []    [] []       []       |
  213      python          |                                                    |
  214      recode          |       [] [] []    [] []       [] [] []       []    |
  215      sed             |    [] [] [] []    []    []    [] [] []    [] [] [] |
  216      sh-utils        |    [] [] [] []       [] []    [] []          [] [] |
  217      sharutils       |    [] [] [] []       []       [] []             [] |
  218      sketch          |                                                    |
  219      soundtracker    |          []          []          []                |
  220      sp              |                                                    |
  221      tar             |    [] [] []          [] []    []             [] [] |
  222      texinfo         |    [] [] []       []          []                [] |
  223      textutils       |    [] [] [] []       []       [] []             [] |
  224      util-linux      |    [] []                                           |
  225      wdiff           |       [] []             []                         |
  226      wget            |    [] [] [] []       [] []    [] [] []          [] |
  227                      +----------------------------------------------------+
  228                        bg cs da de el en eo es et fi fr gl he hr id it ja
  229                         0 14 24 32 11  1  8 23 13  1 33 22  4  0  7  9 18
  230 
  231                        ko lv nb nl nn no pl pt pt_BR ru sk sl sv tr uk zh
  232                      +----------------------------------------------------+
  233      a2ps            |          []                   []    []             |  6
  234      bash            |                                                    |  4
  235      bfd             |                                                    |  0
  236      binutils        |                                                    |  1
  237      bison           |                               []                   |  6
  238      clisp           |          []                                        |  5
  239      cpio            | []       []       []     []   []                   | 10
  240      diffutils       |                   []          []       [] []       | 11
  241      enscript        |          []              []   []                   |  5
  242      error           |                                  []       []       |  4
  243      fetchmail       |                                                    |  0
  244      fileutils       | []       []       []     []   [] [] [] [] []       | 17
  245      findutils       | []       []       []     []   []    [] [] []       | 16
  246      flex            | []                            []       []          |  6
  247      freetype        |                                                    |  0
  248      gas             |                                                    |  0
  249      gawk            |                                           []       |  3
  250      gcal            |                                                    |  0
  251      gcc             |                                                    |  0
  252      gettext         | []                []     []   []    [] [] []    [] | 18
  253      gnupg           |                   []                   [] []       | 10
  254      gprof           |                                                    |  0
  255      grep            |                   []                [] [] []       | 12
  256      hello           | [] [] [] []    [] []          [] []    [] [] []    | 22
  257      id-utils        |          []                   []       []          |  6
  258      indent          | []       []       []          [] []    [] []       | 12
  259      jpilot          |                                                    |  1
  260      kbd             |                                           []       |  1
  261      ld              |                                                    |  1
  262      libc            | []    []       [] []     []      []    [] []       | 16
  263      lilypond        |          []                            []          |  3
  264      lynx            |          []              []   []       []          |  8
  265      m4              |          []       []          []       []          | 12
  266      make            | []       []       []     []   []          []       | 12
  267      mysecretdiary   |                                                    |  1
  268      nano            |                                        []          |  4
  269      opcodes         |                                           []       |  1
  270      parted          |          []                   []                   |  5
  271      ptx             |       [] []    [] [] []       []       [] []       | 15
  272      python          |                                                    |  0
  273      recode          |                   []          []    [] []          | 13
  274      sed             |          []              []   [] [] [] [] []       | 19
  275      sh-utils        |       [] []    [] []     []   [] [] [] [] []    [] | 21
  276      sharutils       |          []                   []       []          | 11
  277      sketch          |                                                    |  0
  278      soundtracker    |                                                    |  3
  279      sp              |                                                    |  0
  280      tar             |       []       [] []     []         [] [] []       | 15
  281      texinfo         |                               []                   |  7
  282      textutils       |       [] []    [] []     []   [] [] []             | 16
  283      util-linux      |                          []               []       |  4
  284      wdiff           |                               [] []    [] []       |  7
  285      wget            |          []                   [] [] [] [] [] []    | 17
  286                      +----------------------------------------------------+
  287        33 teams        ko lv nb nl nn no pl pt pt_BR ru sk sl sv tr uk zh
  288        53 domains       9  1  6 20  0  6 17  1  13   25 10 11 23 21  2  2  387
  289 
  290    Some counters in the preceding matrix are higher than the number of
  291 visible blocks let us expect.  This is because a few extra PO files are
  292 used for implementing regional variants of languages, or language
  293 dialects.
  294 
  295    For a PO file in the matrix above to be effective, the package to
  296 which it applies should also have been internationalized and
  297 distributed as such by its maintainer.  There might be an observable
  298 lag between the mere existence a PO file and its wide availability in a
  299 distribution.
  300 
  301    If September 2001 seems to be old, you may fetch a more recent copy
  302 of this `ABOUT-NLS' file on most GNU archive sites.  The most
  303 up-to-date matrix with full percentage details can be found at
  304 `http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/contrib/po/HTML/matrix.html'.
  305 
  306 Using `gettext' in new packages
  307 ===============================
  308 
  309    If you are writing a freely available program and want to
  310 internationalize it you are welcome to use GNU `gettext' in your
  311 package.  Of course you have to respect the GNU Library General Public
  312 License which covers the use of the GNU `gettext' library.  This means
  313 in particular that even non-free programs can use `libintl' as a shared
  314 library, whereas only free software can use `libintl' as a static
  315 library or use modified versions of `libintl'.
  316 
  317    Once the sources are changed appropriately and the setup can handle
  318 to use of `gettext' the only thing missing are the translations.  The
  319 Free Translation Project is also available for packages which are not
  320 developed inside the GNU project.  Therefore the information given above
  321 applies also for every other Free Software Project.  Contact
  322 `translation@iro.umontreal.ca' to make the `.pot' files available to
  323 the translation teams.
  324