How to convert existing XML based translations into PO files

Jens Seidel jensseidel at
Sat Aug 23 06:42:30 CDT 2008

On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 03:24:06PM +0200, Jens Seidel wrote:
> I try to explain how to convert existing translations to PO format.

Someone informed me that these instructions seem to be too complex. Let me
explain that I tried to be as detailed as possible to allow other
translation teams to follow these steps for the *initial* and *one-time*

All further synchronisations reduce from current Subversion inspections
using svn log, svn diff, svn merge or whatever to a simple and non-interactive
make update-po.

That's all to sychronize in future! Even if whole files got renamed,
paragraphs moved no translator using PO files will ever notice it (even
existing translations will be automatically reused if possible).

Also the mentioned bugs in po4a where already fixed in the last hours
( and Oh, I love
Open Source.

> It seems that the German translators specify the current sync/merge state of XML
> files in the Subversion log.

Only sometimes as I noticed after a discussion with Jens M. Felderhoff.

> PS2: It is not yet ready because the sync information as mentioned above
> is not always right! E.g. r513 of ../en/book/ch00-preface.xml is not
> yet merged (search for the string "Demonstrates how to use the public
> APIs to write a"). Contributors contains also "√ėyvind A. Holm" which was
> never a part of the English file (I think). Is he a German translator?
> Such credits should be given in a different way! po4a supports so called
> addendas which can extent the original document by translator credits, ...
> Also ch02-basic-usage.xml is far away from beeing in sync with r3206.

Thanks to Jens M. Felderhoff I noticed that some parts I considered
outdated are related to either my wrong assumption about the sync status
(from the log messages) or are errors from my part which resulted from
using German files of the same revision numbers as the suspected
sychronized English files (but the sync happened of course after changes
to the English file).

I asked him to commit the remaining (minor) issues.

PS: Such trouble cannot happen with PO files and that's why some
translators I know (e.g. Vietnamese ones) restrict own work to PO
files only (but miss knowledge to add support for it, that's why
I did it for optional further usage).


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