Advice needed - moving GNOME help files into langpacks

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at
Thu Aug 27 17:17:34 BST 2009

Hello all,

one of our long-term goals to reclaim some much needed CD space has
been to move the translated text and images in /usr/share/gnome/help/
and /usr/share/omf/project/*-<LANGCODE>.omf from the actual GNOME
packages into language-pack-*. (We are currently 10 MB oversized, and
only have three langpacks). 

The prospective savings are tempting, depending on how many langpacks
we actually ship we can get an order of 30 MB back, so I think it's
well worth spending some effort here.

Thanks to the Soyuz team, that goal is actually feasible now. Julian
and I set up everything needed to strip the translations at build
time, store them in the librarian, and I wrote a script to retrieve
them again.

However, yesterday it occurred to me that merely adding them to
langpacks will break upgrades and installation of backported versions
and third-party repos in a lot of cases due to file conflicts.

With normal gettext mo files we solved that problem by storing them in
a separate directory (/usr/share/locale-langpack/), but doing the same
is not that easy for GNOME help; I'm not quite sure whether adding an
alternative search path to yelp and rarian is sufficient, or whether
this would need adaptions to other packages as well. However, I have
seen some hardcoded file references in e. g. the rarian source package:


which would definitively break due to that change. (The file isn't
actually shipped, though).

Sebastien, any other GNOME wizard, do you know whether this would be

Failing that, an alternative is to add lots of Replaces: to the
langpacks. This would be quite ugly, though, and I'm not sure about
the impact to dpkg's stability and performance if the langpacks would
suddenly grow 50ish new replaces. Can anyone comment on that?

Thanks in advance!

Martin Pitt                        |
Ubuntu Developer (  | Debian Developer  (
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 197 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
Url : 

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list