The documentation and online-help for KDE programs are written now entirely in XML (eXtensible Markup Language) DocBook. Some information on DocBook formatting can be found in DocBook HOWTO by Jorge Godoy. DocBook is a widely used standard for technical documentation.
A major advantage of DocBook is the capability of the conversion from one markup to another one, for example to HTML or PostScript. If you ever happened to work with a markup language like HTML or LaTeX then DocBook will be no problem. If not, you will probably need to get at least a basic understanding of these markup languages. Further information is provided in the next sections.
The software requirements are about as follows:
You are going to need Lokalize by Nick Shaforostoff just as for GUI translation. This program is part of the kdesdk module in SVN. This package can be downloaded from the same source as the other parts of KDE. Lokalize supports UTF-8 as required for the documentation and online help.
For localized screenshots, you should make yourself familiar with a program like KSnapshot (from the KDE package kdegraphics) or import (from ImageMagick package).
It is also extremely advisable to have a program around for checking the syntax of the finished doc translation. For this task, you will need the XML parser meinproc by Stephan Kulow. This parser is part of the kdelibs core module.
Finally you are going to need po2xml. It takes a po-file and produces from this source the complete XML document. This program belongs like Lokalize to kdesdk.
These programs are a big help in the translation process (especially when searching and correcting fuzzies and untranslated strings). They ease up the comparison between older translations, check for formal correctness and the work flow in general. And if you use this tools and give the authors feedback, they are going to improve even more.