POT and PO Files Used for Documentation

This is meant as a short overview of the peculiarities of those file formats in the process of doc translation — basically, you already know them from the part on GUI translation.

The files that have to be translated are in Unicode UTF-8 format with the extension .pot and .po. But this is only for the convenience of translators. Originally, the English documentation is included in DocBook files (see above). Once the documentation author commits a documentation to the SVN, the translatable strings from the file are extracted to a POT file and committed to l10n- kde4/templates/docmessages on the server. If there are no updated templates on the server, your translations in the docmessage.po will be removed by scripty's next run to the SVN. Basically, the resulting POTs do not differ too much from what you already know from the GUI files.

The English POT file is the common ground for the translation teams which produce for each POT file one PO for their language. These localized PO files provide the translated strings, from which the program po2xml produces the translated DocBook file. po2xml must be regularly run by your language coordinator or dedicated committer for your language. This can be done using one of the scripts in /l10n-kde4/scripts, namely update_xml. During compilation of your translation files (see above), this translated DocBook files are processed to obtain HTML files that will be shown on screen. The generation of the translated DocBook files by po2xml require the PO files to be syntactically correct.

You can find the English DocBook documentation in subdirectories of the source code for the corresponding package. The POT files and the translated PO files and DocBook files for all languages are located in the KDE package named kde-l10n. For the package "EXAMPLE" you will find

  • the POT files in the directory l10n-kde4/templates/docmessages/EXAMPLE/

  • the translated PO files in the directory l10n-kde4/$LANGUAGE/docmessages/EXAMPLE/

  • the English documentation files in the directory l10n-kde4/documentation/EXAMPLE/doc/ (you need this file to generate the translated DocBook file)

  • the translated documentation (in DocBook format) in the directory l10n-kde4/$LANGUAGE/docs/EXAMPLE/