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intltool README

If you have problems understanding this README file, then please report 
these at on Launchpad. Patches are
also very welcome. See HACKING for more information on submitting patches.

The intltool collection can be used to do these things:

 o Extract translatable strings from various source files (,

 o Collect the extracted strings together with messages from traditional
   source files (.c, .h) in po/$(PACKAGE).pot.

 o Merge back the translations from .po files into .xml, .desktop and
   .oaf files.  This merge step will happen at build resp. installation

The intltool package has a script, intltoolize, which copies the various
scripts and does the other magic to your module. So users building
from tarballs don't need intltool, only folks building from cvs.
(This is modelled on gettextize.)

How to Use with autoconf/automake
(There is a section for non-auto* configurations below)

To use intltool in your module, do the following:

 o Install intltool, and make sure that the macro it installs is
   in aclocal's path, or do:

	export ACLOCAL_FLAGS='-I /usr/local/share/aclocal' 

 o Add these lines to, after the call to gettextize:

	echo "Running intltoolize"
	intltoolize --copy --force --automake

 o Add this line to near the top

	IT_PROG_INTLTOOL([minimum required version], [no-xml])

 o Add intltool-extract, intltool-merge, and intltool-update to
   DISTCLEANFILES in your top-level

 o Remove po/ and po/update.* scripts.  intltool-update will take
   over their functionality.

At this point, translatable strings will be automatically extracted to
the .po files, if you make use of the following recommendations.

The intltool-prepare script will help you to prepare the package. It will
try to extract translations from existing .desktop files which will
become obsolete after intltoolization has taken place.

Examples of packages that use intltool are many of the GNOME components:
find them at

Details of the IT_PROG_INTLTOOL macro

The first parameter indicates the minimum required version. The
configure script will halt if the version is older than the first

The second parameter is to tell intltool that we don't need the
extended xml parsing abilities provided by the XML::Parser perl
module. If it is not provided, or is any value other than "no-xml",
then XML::Parser will be checked for by the configure script. This
feature is only available in intltool 0.31 or newer.

Extra Steps for DESKTOP Files

This step also applies for similar files (.directory, .soundlist).

 o Try to run intltool-prepare.

 o Make sure intltool-prepare did find existing translations in the old
   .desktop files and did correctly merge them into the various po/*.po
   files.  Don't forget to commit the changed .po files; otherwise
   exiting translations will get lost!

 o Remove old .desktop files and add new files.

 o Adjust .cvsignore, .gitignore, .bzrignore or similar.

 o Adjust, e.g.:

	--- start ----

        utilsdir = $(datadir)/gnome/apps/Utilities
        utils_in_files =
        utils_DATA = $(

	--- end ----

 o Add files to po/

Here's a example:

	--- start ----

        [Desktop Entry]
        _Name=Bug Report Tool
        _Comment=Report a bug in GNOME

	--- end ----

Extra Steps for GLADE Files

 o Add the .glade files you want translated to

 o Remove the intermediate *-glade.h or strings-glade.c files and drop
   them from

Extra Steps for SERVER Files (formerly .server)

To get server translation extraction and merging requires a few more steps:

 o Rename your .server files to and put an
   underscore before every value property for string attributes that should
   be localized.

 o Add the new or files to

 o Put lines like these in every that installs oaf files:
	--- start ----
	serverdir = $(libdir)/bonobo/servers
	server_in_files =
	server_DATA = $(
	EXTRA_DIST=$(server_in_files) $(server_DATA)
	--- end ----

At this point, your server translations will be extracted and merged.

Extra Steps for XML Files (Files with .xml Extension)

To get xml (files with .xml extension) translation extraction 
and merging requires these steps:

 o Rename your .xml files to and put an underscore before 
   every element that should be localized.

 o Add the files to

 o Put lines like these in every that installs xml files:

        --- start ----

        xmldir = $(datadir)/xml

        xml_in_files =
        xml_DATA = $(


        EXTRA_DIST=$(xml_in_files) $(xml_DATA)

        --- end ----

At this point, your xml translations will be extracted and
merged. All .po files will be converted on the fly to UTF-8, and the
resulting XML file will have a UTF-8 effective encoding (you should
make sure that the encoding="..." declaration in the file is
either absent or actually specifies UTF-8).

Previous versions of intltool generated XML files whose contents
were made of the contents of the .po files, without paying attention
to the encodings used. A single "XML" file could thus have strings in
different encodings. This broken behavior can be requested only by
using the old xml-i18n-tools API instead of the intltool one. See old
versions of xml-i18n-tools for documentation on how the old API worked.


XXX: add section for KEYS files. Works almost like XML files .

How to use without autoconf/automake

intltool can also be used without the auto* tools. For instance in order 
to translate a file, you can do the following.

 o Create a po/ dir.
 o Add a po/ file, including the path to the  file

Then to create the somename.desktop file all you do is:

$ intltool-merge po/ -d -u -c po/.intltool-merge-cache

You can also type intltool-merge --help for a bit more info.

To specify parameters for intltool-update (such as keywords or gettext
domain), you can use Makevars syntax as used in recent GNU gettext, by
putting something like the following in po/Makevars file:

  DOMAIN = mydomain
  XGETTEXT_OPTIONS = --keyword --keyword=blah

This will make "intltool-update -p" produce mydomain.pot, passing
parameters "--keyword --keyword=blah" to xgettext when extracting

Passing special parameters to xgettext via environment

If you need to add parameters passed to xgettext on a case-by-case
basis, you can do so using environment variable XGETTEXT_ARGS.

If you would run it as follows:

	XGETTEXT_ARGS=--no-location intltool-update -p

You would create a PO Template file without lines which indicate
location of messages in the source code.

Changing keywords used in xgettext invocation

If you need to change default keywords used to extract messages from 
source code, you need to add variable XGETTEXT_KEYWORDS to file inside directory where intltool-update is run
from, eg.

        --- start ----

        XGETTEXT_KEYWORDS = --keyword --keyword=P_

        --- end ----

Default keywords xgettext looks for if no XGETTEXT_KEYWORDS is defined
are _, N_ and U_. 

Translators' comments in XML and .schemas files

To provide comments to translators in free-form XML or .schema files, 
you need to precede the string to be translated with the plain XML 

In .schemas files, comments need to be inside <default>, <short> or 
<long> elements (i.e. they cannot be before the opening tag).