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       dpkg-gentdeb - generate Debian TDeb translation packages and source.



Copyright and Licence

        Copyright (C) 2007-2008  Neil Williams <>

        This package is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
        it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
        the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or
        (at your option) any later version.

        This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
        but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
        GNU General Public License for more details.

        You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
        along with this program.  If not, see <>.


       dpkg-gentdeb is a dpkg-dev add-on created by Emdebian to create
       translation packages (tdebs). dpkg-gentdeb is intended to separate out
       the individual translation files from the current Debian packages into
       packages without any translation files and a single TDeb locale
       packages, one per source package.

       This script is a mix of dpkg and debhelper abstractions that simply
       provides some tdebs until the main packages are updated. As such, it
       contains some code that needs to be implemented in debhelper
       (identification of po files) and some that need to be in dpkg (packing
       up the .mo files into the .tdeb itself). Therefore, a large part of
       this script needs to be implemented as dh_gentdeb.

       Generated packages use the syntax:

       (Note that Debian TDebs are architecture-independent, Emdebian TDebs
       are architecture-dependent.)

       Once a package uses dpkg-gentdeb, translation files should be removed
       from all packages in the normal build. This includes all translated
       manpages and other translated content. Original, untranslated, content
       should remain.

       dpkg-gentdeb runs as a part of the normal package build - simply add
       the call to the binary-indep target of debian/rules, usually after
       dh_install and before dh_builddeb. dpkg-gentdeb handles locating the
       relevant files, a .install file is not normally necessary.

       Support for a tdeb diff1.gz will be added as dpkg-gentdeb develops.
       The extra diff is used by translators to build updated or new tdeb
       packages. Tdeb packages depend on the source:Version of the mainpackage
       but no packages may depend upon the tdeb. (Not even other TDebs). The
       mainpackage can be specified using the -p option.

       Use of diff1.gz should remove the need to create a customised source
       with a debian/rules stub etc. by allowing Emdebian TDebs to be created
       during an Emdebian build and Debian TDebs in a Debian build.
       Translators would then be able to use:

        $ apt-get source $package
        $ cd $package-$version/
        $ poedit po/$lang.po

       To build the package, either dpkg-gentdeb can behave as em_installtdeb
       does now and run a build only of the TDeb components or dpkg-
       buildpackage could gain an option to only process the TDeb. The current
       single-language update mode of em_installtdeb is unlikely to be
       retained as translations are less likely to be updated within Emdebian.

       dpkg-gentdeb currently only supports gettext translation.

       The locale package must use GETTEXT_PACKAGE for the eventual filename
       of the binary translation file - although this may be the same as the
       $dh{MAINPACKAGE}. GETTEXT_PACKAGE is determined by upstream, not
       Debian.  When building the whole package, the binary translation file
       may be in debian/tmp/usr/share/locale/$lang/LC_MESSAGES but when in
       translator mode, this location is not available. Instead retrieve
       GETTEXT_PACKAGE from the POT filename, the Makefile GETTEXT_PACKAGE
       macro or if that is not set, use the upstream source package name. This
       may need extending.

       The Emdebian script currently has a different way of handling the
       "source" for translators. Work on dpkg-gentdeb continues to make a
       format that will satisfy Debian and Emdebian.

       Some packages use multiple po directories and dpkg-gentdeb checks for a
       POT file in all usable po directories, including them in the tdeb
       source along with all po files: e.g.


       When packaged, the Debian tdeb built from this source would contain:


       Any package can have a source tdeb, as long as the POT file is either
       packaged or can be built. The package does not have to have been
       translated already.

       For more detail on Tdebs, see:

       Note that the Emdebian implementation of tdebs differs from the
       proposed tdebs for Debian because Emdebian does not care about manpages
       in general, let alone translated manpages. Once the ’nodocs’
       DEB_BUILD_OPTION is supported in debhelper, this will not be an issue
       as the tdebs can be built for Emdebian without any manpages. Other
       translated documentation would be omitted under ’nodocs’ too. Images
       containing translated text are relatively few.

       A new C/C++ application then handles the installation and update of
       tdeb packages according to the list of supported locales and the list
       of installed packages. Data cached by langupdate is temporary and is
       not intended to be stored between runs of langupdate.


       The default action is to process all available po files and all
       identifiable translated content.

Use in Debian

       generate_source will be removed before inclusion into Debian.

       At the same time, XC-Package-Type: tdeb needs support too. Notably,
       many of the scripts in the devscripts package fail to identify the TDeb
       in the .changes file and certain debhelper scripts fail to handle the
       TDeb package-type.

       reprepro needs a patch to accept .tdeb and allow .tdeb in the
       repository files:
        $ reprepro --ignore=extension -b /path/ includedeb \
        unstable ../qof-locale-sv_0.7.5-1em1_arm.tdeb
        $ ls /opt/reprepro/locale/pool/main/q/qof/

        Filename: pool/main/q/qof/qof-locale-sv_0.7.5-1em1_arm.deb
        Description: sv translation for qof (tdeb)

       reprepro also needs a way to handle a .tdeb in a .changes file.
        reprepro -b /opt/reprepro/locale/ include unstable
        ’qof-locale-id_0.7.5-1em1_arm.tdeb’ is not .deb or .udeb!
        There have been errors!

Other translations

       Packages may also contain translated manpages and translations for
       debconf templates. These translations are not yet packaged or processed
       by dpkg-gentdeb. For Tdebs to be supported in Debian, these issues will
       need to be resolved such that Emdebian can continue to only package the
       gettext program translations, omitting translated manpages and leaving
       debconf translation support to existing tools or implement sufficient
       changes in cdebconf.

Development status

       dpkg-gentdeb is based on em_installtdeb from the emdebian-tdeb package
       (built from the emdebian-tools source package). In many places,
       em_installtdeb code has been retained so that the two scripts can
       develop together and make it easier for Emdebian to convert Debian
       TDebs as they become available.

       Therefore, there are numerous bits of code in dpkg-gentdeb that are
       commented out to act as prompts for where the two scripts have had to

Generate a -locale TDeb package

       This is currently automated (if it does not exist) but that could mess
       up various maintainer version control systems (and debian/control
       should not be changed once the build starts). (This was the problem
       with emlocale). Could be an optional stage that could be migrated into
       one of the Dpkg perl modules.

       Generated locale package descriptions get omitted from the .changes
        dpkg-genchanges: warning: package foo-locale in control file but not
       in files list

Emdebian control info

       Emdebian TDebs are architecture-dependent and this function covers the
       creation of one TDeb per locale per architecture.

Debconf Templates

       Packages may need to rename the templates file for the template file
       and change the reference in debian/po/ to the new file. This
       results in a lintian warning:

        Now running lintian...
        W: dpkg-cross: no-debconf-templates
        Finished running lintian.

       The package probably now needs to Pre-Depend on the TDeb.
       Alternatively either dpkg or debconf should automatically install a
       TDeb prior to trying to configure the main package.

       Templates files are the most common reason for l10n rebuilds of
       packages prior to a release.