Is Aptitude upstream?

Arne Goetje arne.goetje at
Sun Aug 1 16:38:01 BST 2010

On 08/01/2010 10:41 PM, Hannie wrote:
> On I find
> many templates that should not be translated by us, Ubuntu Dutch
> Translation Team. With Gnome and KDE it is not so difficult, because it
> is usually in the name. But with others I am not sure if we should
> translate them or not. One of them is Aptitude. Is this upstream
> (Debian), or not?
> In fact, only few of the 1340 templates are NOT upstream (e.g.
> (K)Ubuntu-docs, software-center, app-install-data).
> Would it not be a good idea to mention in the list of templates whether
> it is upstream or Ubuntu?
> Hannie Dumoleyn

In general, you should translate any template where translations are 
still missing, no matter if they come from upstream or they are native 
to Ubuntu.
The reasons for that are:
  * usually we package _stable_ releases of upstream software. For 
those, upstream usually won't update translations any more. There may be 
exceptions to this rule, but for most software we can assume this to be 
true. If the strings you translate and submit back to upstream for 
inclusion into the current development release get accepted, they will 
be marked as coming from upstream with the next package update where 
they are included. If upstream rejects them or translates them on their 
own in the meantime, the translations in Launchpad will get marked as 
'Changed'. Those should be reviewed and switched back to 'Packaged' (= 
coming with the source package) where appropriate.
  * sometimes, we have patches in Ubuntu, which add or modify some 
msgids in the code. Those modifications won't be translatable upstream 
and therefore will show up as untranslated, even if the rest of the 
template has been fully translated upstream and we have the same version 
in Launchpad.
  * if the upstream is Debian (like for aptitude), of course it would be 
nice if the translations made in Launchpad could be sent back to 
upstream (usually as a bug report to that package with the updated .po 
file attached or by contacting the Debian translation teams directly). 
However, it may take some time until the new translations make it into 
the upstream package. In case we won't sync or merge that package from 
upstream any more for the current release (Maverick for now), we still 
have the translations in Launchpad. (The same is true for all other 
software. Automatic syncs from Debian have been disabled already, 
therefore even if upstream has newer translations, it's not sure they 
will make it into Ubuntu for the upcoming release.You still can download 
the updated .po files from upstream and upload them into Launchpad 
manually, if you wish.)

The templates in Launchpad are sorted according to their importance in 
Ubuntu. The more important ones are in the front and should be 
translated first.

If you are both a member of the upstream translation team, as well as a 
translator for Ubuntu, it does make sense to translate upstream and then 
upload the same .po file into Launchpad. But if the versions between 
upstream and Ubuntu differ, you still need to complete the missing 
translations in Launchpad (they may have gone away in upstream already), 
although I would do that closer to release time when it is sure that the 
version in Ubuntu won't get updated any more (usually after UI string 


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