[Live-demo] Motion: Changing translation system to use Sphinx internationalization instead of directory approach

Angelos Tzotsos gcpp.kalxas at gmail.com
Thu Jul 23 03:02:12 PDT 2015

Hi all,

This proposal was discussed on the weekly meeting.
We voted to accept this proposal and move to gettext and Sphinx 

The plan is to keep the English folder as the default and produce a pot 
file from it.
Then for each language a po file will be created so that translators can 
work on them. The interface to work can be either Transifex, poedit, vim 
or any other editor. More details will be described on wiki soon.

Since this effort would require time to produce the pot file, then to 
setup languages and copy the existing content to the po files, we don't 
see that possible for the 9.0 release. The target of this change will be 
9.5 release and work will happen in "gettext" git branch.

Thomas has agreed to be the champion of this process. Thank you Thomas.


On 07/18/2015 04:14 PM, Thomas Gratier wrote:
> Hi,
> I had a discussion at FOSS4G Europe about using Sphinx internationalization
> <http://sphinx-doc.org/latest/intl.html> (i18n) instead of the current
> directory approach.
> Why?
> It's already used in QGIS project, MapServer project, Python project,..
> The advantages:
> * Untied translators and contributors jobs by using Transifex
> * Keeping the translation updated. For instance, if I do a translation in
> French, then the English doc evolves slightly, it's difficult to track the
> differences and I need to read nearly everything again or browse the
> original file history then apply the change in French. It's not friendly IMO
> * Do not use symbolic links when missing files: fallback to english
> directly with i18n and not issue with Git (try to build the doc and do a
> "git status" to understand)
> If you wonder about the simplicity of Transifex, you can see the MapServer
> documentation at http://mapserver.org/fr/development/translation.html
> The drawbacks:
> * It can't make documents differ per language (strict translation)
> I've already worked a bit to make things happen about this at the code
> sprint but I would like to reorganize the documentation to improve the
> experience.
> Do you have any opinions before I go further?
> Cheers
> Thomas Gratier
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Angelos Tzotsos, PhD
OSGeo Charter Member

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