using gettext for .desktop translations

Pino Toscano pino at
Fri Dec 11 15:48:38 GMT 2009


> Currently .desktop translations are kept in-file rather than using
> gettext .po/.mo files as every other translation does.

Yes and no, we use .po files and gettext as intermediate step (for 
translators) instead of being the final result.

> This adds
> extra complexity to application's translation infrastucture.  Although
> KDE SVN has its own ways of coverting to and back from .po files third
> party apps don't.

Yes and no, our scripts (and the apply.c source) are public, so they could be 

> It also means distributions can't easily ship updated translations.

Surely not.

> Both Ubuntu and openSUSE patch KDE and Gnome to
> make them use translations from gettext instead of .desktop files.

Translations from where? Which format?
If tomorrow I install eg a GNOME application in my KDE, where will the KDE 
menu look for the translations of the entries of the .desktop file of the 
application? The same applies of course in the other way round, and in general 
for any XDG menu implementation. This is als why IMO having translations in 
.desktop files (not DE specific) is a good solution so far.
And if the application does not use gettext at all for its translations (for 
example with Qt-only or Java applications)?

> Should we consider changing the way these translations are done?

Personally, I don't see why.

> I believe the glib maintainers are looking at this too.

Frankly, who cares? :)

Pino Toscano
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 190 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part.
URL: <>

More information about the kde-core-devel mailing list