using gettext for .desktop translations

Jonathan Riddell jriddell at
Sat Dec 12 01:13:11 GMT 2009

On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 12:55:59AM +0100, Pino Toscano wrote:
> Alle sabato 12 dicembre 2009, Jonathan Riddell ha scritto:
> > On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 04:48:38PM +0100, Pino Toscano wrote:
> > > 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?
> > 
> > From the application's .po file.  The .desktop file contains a line
> > with the translation catalogue name.
> Right, so when showing e.g. the Edu menu, the menu will need to load approx. 
> 22000 messages in memory? Sum up other applications like kmail (~2500 
> messages), kopete (~3500), and see how the number of messages which needs to 
> be loaded just to show some descriptions raises a lot. And this is for 
> information already available in the _same_ place (the .desktop file) where 
> you read the English versions.
> Are you really sure this is worth the overhead? I don't think so.

It's already been done in Ubuntu and SuSE.  Nobody has noticed any
notable overhead.

> > > And if the application does not use gettext at all for its translations
> > > (for example with Qt-only or Java applications)?
> > 
> > For their .desktop files they can fallback to the old in-file
> > translation method.
> Right, overhead++ and confusion++ (two systems instead of a single system 
> which work fine?)

I don't see any other way to transition.  And as I say it's already
done in two major downstreams without problems.


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