using gettext for .desktop translations

Jonathan Riddell jriddell at
Sat Dec 12 01:36:31 GMT 2009

On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 01:30:13AM +0100, Chusslove Illich wrote:
> > [: Jonathan Riddell :]
> > There was a posting about this to the xdg list once upon a time but since
> > the maintainers of the .desktop spec have long since fallen off the
> > internet it didn't go anywhere. So the process has to start here.
> This would be great. But it should produce an update to .desktop spec
> document *before* we change anything in translation system on KDE's side. So
> that when someone comes in complaining about broken .desktop files
> translation-wise, he can be pointed to the updated spec.
> Do you already have a proposal (given experience in Ubuntu)?

The original proposal is in the attachment at

Our patch is at

Here's SuSE's patch

This is the discussion over there

> You probably haven't deliberated about disambiguation contexts so far, and
> neither have I in this sense (my internal solution in KDE was a comment in
> .desktop file, but this is not acceptable for dynamic translation). How
> about having a *-Context counterpart to every translatable field (as they
> are currently listed in the spec)?

I don't believe we have.  Could the name of the .desktop file be used
as a context?

> Another thing is that I don't see how to define this without linking the
> .desktop spec to a particular runtime translation system, here Gettext. To
> me this is just fine because I hold Gettext to be the superior solution, but
> I expect it not to be fine with everyone. E.g. a pure Qt application, using
> Qt's native runtime translation system, would have to provide and install PO
> files merely for the sake of its .desktop files.

Pure Qt apps already have to use a second translation system merely
for the sake of .desktop files.  At least we can stop KDE from having
to do so.


More information about the kde-core-devel mailing list