Mallard and Ubuntu-Translators and Translation Regressions

Shaun McCance shaunm at
Thu Feb 25 17:32:12 UTC 2010

On Thu, 2010-02-25 at 09:44 -0500, Kyle Nitzsche wrote:
> Milo Casagrande wrote:
> > 2010/2/25 Milo Casagrande <milo at>:
> >   
> >> But if you start having something like:
> >> <para>
> >>  Put some text here with a lot of Docbook tags,
> >> <guimenu>XYZ</guimenu>, <emphasis>YXZ</emphasis>,
> >> <application>ZYX</application>.
> >> </para>
> >> or lists, or tables, you are going to lose you translations
> >>     
> >
> > Hmmm... I think with lists or tables we can be safe (as long as they
> > are not mixed with other tags), wrong examples.
> > But I hope you got the point.
> >
> >   
> Excellent point. The issue is that docbook tags are (at least sometimes) 
> embedded (by xml2-po) in the text to be translated, and since Mallard 
> tags are often different, there is a potentially large number of strings 
> that will be affected (short of a solution).

I don't know how the LP translation system works, but with xml2po
you rarely see block or section elements in the PO files.  Unless
you nest block content, you should mostly see only inline elements.

The hard part of going from DocBook to Mallard is the structural
elements.  Converting a DocBook inline context to Mallard should
be pretty straightforward.

So it occurs to me that somebody could write a tool that reads in
a DocBook-based PO file and converts the msgid and msgstr of only
those messages which have tags from a certain well-known set.

I just did a quick grep on the Gnome User Guide and found only 46
elements that appear in the PO files.  Of these, I'd say roughly
half could be reliably automatically converted.

The utility of this depends, of course, on writers doing the most
obvious conversion of their content.  But even if the converted
messages don't match, merge tools will mark them as either fuzzy
or unused, so there's no harm in having them there.


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