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debconf-gettextize - extract translations of debconf templates into PO files


debconf-gettextize [-v] [-h] [--podir=DIR] [--choices] [--merge] master [master ...]


The /var/lib/dpkg/info/*.templates files read by debconf contain English text and
translations in the same file. But in source packages, translations are managed in
separate files to help translators. In the initial implementation, a master templates
file contained only English text, and templates.xx files contained both original and
translated strings for the language xx. The debconf-mergetemplate program was merging
master and translated templates files.

The new implementation with "po-debconf" is based on "gettext". Maintainers mark
translatable fields by prepending them with an underscore, English strings are
automatically extracted into a POT file, translators work on normal PO files, and
po2debconf generates a merged templates file with the same structure.

The debconf-gettextize program was initially designed to help migrating to the new

· It reads a list of master files and their associated translations, and generates po/*.po
files for each language containing translated strings.

· Each input file receives an ".old" suffix, and a new master file overwrites the old one;
it is identical to the previous master file except that an underscore is prepended to
translatable fields. Developers can then choose which fields translators have to work
on and which ones are skipped because their values are not locale-dependent.

· A po/POTFILES.in file is also created, it contains the list of templates files debconf-
updatepo has to process.

Typically the debconf-gettextize program must be run only once when transforming from the
first implementation to the "po-debconf" format, but it can also be used afterwards to
transform a "_Choices" field into "__Choices" (or vice-versa) without losing translations,
when using the "--merge" flag (alongside with "--choices" or not). The desired template
containing the "_Choices" or "__Choices" fields to modify has to be copied into a
temporary template file, which is passed to debconf-gettextize as an argument. Then the
following steps are performed:

1. po2debconf is run on this template file to generate a translated templates file.

2. This translated templates file is processed as described above and PO files are

3. Newly created PO files are merged with existing ones.

When PO files are merged, "_Choices" fields have to be replaced by "__Choices" (or vice-
versa) in the original templates file before running debconf-updatepo, otherwise new
translations will be fuzzy.


-h, --help
Display a usage summary for the program and exit.

-v, --verbose
Process in verbose mode.

Set directory for PO files. Default is to search for PO files in the po subdirectory
below the location of the first master file.

By default, debconf-gettextize replaces "Choices" fields by "_Choices". With this
flag, "__Choices" fields are written instead.

When this flag is set, the strings are merged with existing PO files. The templates
files and po/POTFILES.in are not modified.


The "Default" field is special when template type is "Select" or "Multiselect", because a
value has to be chosen amongst the English list of choices, even for localized values.
Normally this field must not be changed, but in rare circumstances localized values are
meaningful (e.g. to choose the default language of an application). In order to let
translators know that this localized "Default" field is special, you must by convention
call it "_DefaultChoice" instead of "_Default".

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