MozillaZine

Translating Mozilla with Portable Object Templates

Thursday March 11th, 2004

Caio Begotti (caio1982) writes: "Everyone who has some contact with great Open Source projects knows that localization and internationalization are really important and even essential in places like France or Italy. The Mozilla project have a nice L10N team but the tool that everybody actually uses isn't so helpful for collaborating over translations. This article explains how you can use .pot files to translate Mozilla products or extensions. Let's retire Mozilla Translator; using .pot files from the GNU/Gettext library is much easier, IMHO.

"The original article was written by me for the Brazilian community Mozilla Brasil but was accepted by the Translate project too as an introduction to the theme. I'm not a real developer, just a enthusiast and amateur translator, so any comments are very appreciated, but sorry about the flame baits or rants."


#1 pot is not a good replacement

by tsahi

Friday March 12th, 2004 8:18 AM

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i just created a mozillazine account, just so i can response to this annoying post.

first of all, that text file assumes everyone uses linux and has python installed may i remind you, that even among mozilla users, most people use Win32. it says, "If you want to translate some portion of the suite, say the ChatZilla, you need to download the latest Mozilla Translator release (dated from 2002), install the Java SDK, study how it works and then start to translate it." and if you want to use that other translator, you have to install python (which is not installed by default on windows, may i remind you), run the script to convert the dtd files to pot files, learn how to translate with VI (assuming Kbabel doesn't have a port to win32 [when will these kde guys grow up and stop adding K to every application they make?] and that you've never used VI before, at least for translating) and then start working on the translation. what's the difference? (and VI, IMHO, is for people who like pain. Notepad may be weaker, but it's sure easier to understand where do i write there.)

he goes on to say, "But, you can't easily merge two translations packs into MT what means is really hard to more than one person to translate something. At least is that what we from Mozilla Brasil have noticed." maybe you don't know MT enough. i worked with other people on the same translation with MT quite comfortably. you can easily export components of mozilla, and send them to the project coordinator, who would just as easily import them into the central work.

ok, so other projects use other methods. but other projects don't use dtd files. marely converting to and from the pot format will increase the amount of work, compared to what is needed with MT.

the text explains how to get the file from CVS. where's the FTP site? am i a developer? (hint: no, i'm not) why do i have to start looking for a cvs program? why do i have to access cvs? software should always be released as files to be installed, and not in this form. i feel that some of the open source community still doesn't understand that normal people don't care how cool their programs are. normal people want to double click and start working (and see my note about notepad above).

indeed, mozillatranslator has not been updated in some time now, and it's about time someone (with more knowledge than i have in java) will pick it up and add some new features. but MT is still, IMO, one of the best solutions that exist today, and certainly the easiest to use, for translating mozilla.

tsahi asher, hebrew L10n.

#3 Re: pot is not a good replacement

by FattMattP

Friday March 12th, 2004 2:08 PM

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> you have to install python (which is not installed by default on windows, may i remind you)

Mozilla isn't either. What's you point?

> the text explains how to get the file from CVS. where's the FTP site? > am i a developer? (hint: no, i'm not) why do i have to start looking for a cvs program?

Look, all he's doing is presenting an alternate way to handle translations for Mozilla. He found the original method, which was outlined in paragraph two of his document, to be hard to use so he came up with an alternative that worked for him. I think that's great. Now people have two solutions and can use whichever one works best for them.

Your post contributed nothing to this thread. All you did was complain.

#6 Re: Re: pot is not a good replacement

by bzbarsky

Saturday March 13th, 2004 12:04 AM

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> all he's doing is presenting an alternate way to handle translations for Mozilla.

You clearly missed the "Let's retire Mozilla Translator" part... That sounds like a call to just ditch the old system altogether to me....

#7 Re: Re: pot is not a good replacement

by tsahi

Saturday March 13th, 2004 1:13 AM

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>Mozilla isn't either. What's you point? who's talking about mozilla? i'm talking about mozilla L10n tools. both Sun-JVM and python are non-native enviroments on Win32, that need to be installed. so when he writes "you need to... install the Java SDK" he doesn't show any advantage to python, because you need to install python just the same. and btw, you don't need the whole SDK, just the JVM.

>Now people have two solutions and can use whichever one works best for them.

that's not what he says. as bzbarsky notes below, he is suggesting to abandon MT, although it is still a very effective tool.

#9 Re: Re: Re: pot is not a good replacement

by FattMattP

Saturday March 13th, 2004 9:40 PM

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> who's talking about mozilla? i'm talking about mozilla L10n tools.

I'm talking about you complaining that Python doesn't come installed on Windows systems by default. Mozilla nor the mozilla translation tools don't come installed by deault either. So, again, what's you point? The fact remains that if you want to work on translations you're going to have to install something. Pretending that having to install python on windows is some kind of showstopper is ridiculous. in the end you're going to have to install *something* to get the work done.

#10 Re: Re: Re: Re: pot is not a good replacement

by FattMattP

Saturday March 13th, 2004 10:01 PM

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Oops, nevermind. I see what you are saying.

#5 Re: pot is not a good replacement

by JanC

Friday March 12th, 2004 6:48 PM

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I haven't tried all this, but some things that might help you & others:

(0) Start here: Only 1 (one) person has to do the conversions, all others can jump to (3) now.

(1) Python: There is a Windows installer for Python available here: <http://python.org/download/> (about 9.1 MiB for v2.3.3)

(2) CVS: TortoiseCVS integrates in Windows Explorer: <http://tortoisecvs.sourceforge.net/>

But you can also download the files from the SourceForge site: <https://sourceforge.net/p…1920&package_id=97082>

(3) Edit .po files: As mentioned in the article, a cross-platform GUI editor for .po files is poEdit: <http://poedit.sourceforge.net/>

#8 Re: Re: pot is not a good replacement

by tsahi

Saturday March 13th, 2004 1:26 AM

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(1) and there's a java installer at <http://java.com/en/index.jsp> . i didn't say there's no way to install python on windows, i just said that the fact that you have to install java to use MT, is not a disadvantage compared to the new method.

(2) that's cool. end users should never bother themselves with CVS. and i didn't notice the link to SF you mentioned.

(3) ...that you have to learn how to use, just like you have to learn how to use MT. again, no advantage here.

in short, the new system offers no new advantages compared to MT or other systems that were developed by L10n teams, and may even be more difficult to deploy. no reason to abandon MT.

#2 Whats the difference between L10N and I18N ?

by Ark42

Friday March 12th, 2004 11:20 AM

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Whats the difference between localization and internationalization?

#4 Re: Whats the difference between L10N and I18N ?

by FattMattP

Friday March 12th, 2004 2:10 PM

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From <http://www.mozilla.org/projects/l10n/> :

This project is focused toward software localization (shortened to l10n), that is the task of software enabling to a specific language and culture. Localization often uses the underlying internationalization (i18n) work, that is the software infrastructure to support different culture interaction and communication between the user and a program.

So I would take that to be that localization is translation of strings to different languages while internationalization is things like Bi-Di support and rendering of special characters for other languages.