podebconf-display-po man page

podebconf-display-po — display content of a PO file in a debconf interface


podebconf-display-po [-h] [-f FRONTEND] file.po


As with any other localization work, translators should test their translations by running the program they are working on. But this is a very hard job with complicated configuration scripts because there is no automatic way to have all messages displayed.

The podebconf-display-po program could be called the Poor Man Localization Checker for debconf. It parses a PO file, tries to guess what the original templates file did look like, and displays messages in a debconf interface.

Of course being root is not mandatory, and there is no interaction between podebconf-display-po and system-wide debconf settings.


-h, --help
Display a usage summary and exit.
-f, --frontend=FRONTEND
Select an alternate debconf frontend.



As podebconf-display-po relies on "debconf" to display questions, your environment must be setup to display localized questions in the language of the PO file. If you want to check a translation in another language, you need to temporarily change your settings, e.g.

$ LANGUAGE=de podebconf-display-po de.po

If the PO file cannot be converted into your current encoding, English strings are displayed instead of the localized ones. You then have to switch to a UTF-8 environment to prevent encoding mismatch.

Prior to 0.8.3, "po-debconf" did only insert the field name in PO files. But some discussions on mailing-lists showed that text format does depend on template type, e.g. string and boolean types are different because the former is an open question and user has to enter some text input, whereas the latter is basically a Yes/No question. Authors have to think about it when writing their templates files, but translators also have to be aware.

This is achieved when PO files are generated by po-debconf >= 0.8.3, template type is inserted in PO files. With older versions, podebconf-display-po has a trivial algorithm to determine original template type, and may sometimes be wrong.
The "dialog" frontend, when based upon "whiptail", traps system signals and thus podebconf-display-po cannot be interrupted by "Ctrl-C" when using this frontend.

See Also



Denis Barbier <barbier@linuxfr.org>


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