Improve Translations Packaging for Help in Ubuntu Applications

Registered by David Planella

Development of a strategy to provide translatable documentation for Ubuntu applications. This will also allow OEM projects to use documentation and its translations from Ubuntu, installed independently from the monolithic ubuntu-docs package. Ideally the translated documentation should be shipped in language packs.

Blueprint information

Jono Bacon
David Planella
David Planella
Series goal:
Accepted for maverick
Milestone target:
milestone icon ubuntu-10.10
Completed by
David Planella

Related branches



Work items for maverick-alpha-2:
[dpm] Find out if there is any step necessary to ensure documentation is stripped from a given package and put into language packs: DONE
[dpm] Contact the ubuntu-docs team to make sure Ubuntu docs contain only topic-based user documentation and not app-specific: DONE

Work items for ubuntu-10.10-beta:
[dpm] Write a best practices document on adding translatable documentation to an application and add it to the i18n guide: TODO


Here's how documentation is stripped and put into language packs, as per pitti's explanation:

* It's done in pkgstriptranslations in the dh_clean stage (
* Only the gnome-doc-utils layout is supported (i.e. /usr/share/gnome/help/<pkg>/<locale> and /usr/share/omf/)
* Requirements: the package must be in main and use debhelper (which almost all packages do these days, and all packages which ship GNOME help)

Session notes:

The notes got lost in the gobby crash, so I'll recall them from memory. To all participants: please feel free to amend or expand them if necessary [dpm]

We did not discuss big changes, as most of the requirements might be already been taken care of:
* Stripping of XML documentation files happens for all documentation packages, not only ubuntu-docs. The translated documentation files are put into language packs
* Upstream integration will take care in the near future of sharing translations from the Ubuntu source package to the upstream sources, allowing a build with translations without the need for manual export
* Policy on help for applications being included in the application itself, not in Ubuntu Docs


Work Items