Results of the App Installer Meeting

Samuel Verschelde stormi at
Thu Jan 27 11:17:27 PST 2011

Le jeudi 27 janvier 2011 14:11:06, Michael Vogt a écrit :
> B1;2703;0cOn Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 12:55:36PM +0100, David Kalnischkies 
> > On Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 10:26, Andreas Tille <andreas at> wrote:
> > > What I'm missing in the summary and what was probably not discussed is
> > > another user oriented service:  Translating
> > > descriptions of packages^Wapplications is IMHO quite important to do
> > > the last final step to complete world domination.  As I know from some
> > > discussion on debian-i18n list[1] DDTSS is severely broken and needs
> > > definitely some love.  Some effort to put it under DSA control is
> > > somehow stalled and the technique behind needs some more love by a
> > > gifted and dedicated programmer.  Please do not forget:  Those users
> > > who say "I want to draw vector graphics." will say it in their mother
> > > tongue and we geeks to frequently forget that this is not necessarily
> > > English. The availability of translated descriptions is IMHO crucial
> > > for the success of the App-Intaller attempt.  The DDTP project is
> > > quite there where we need to go but it needs more love.
> > 
> > If I remember correctly, DDTP got a short mention and the result was:
> > "Wow, debian really has translations for package descriptions?!?"
> > Other distributions seem to have only failed (=very outdated) tries if
> > any.
> Indeed, while we talked briefly about it. It got lost in all the other
> topcis we discussed later, but I think its indeed a import part of the
> whole system. Probably more something to fix at the distro level as
> its useful independant of the app context.

It would be too bad if we found a means to share every data (through .desktop 
files, app-data.xml and OCS servers) about applications *except* the text (from 
one paragraph to one page max) that describes it and its translations. It 
feels like removing the most important part of the puzzle :)

Given that not all distributions have the infrastructure to manage package 
translations, couldn't we envision it as part of the AppStream project ?

Here is how I see things :
- a distribution can have translated package descriptions, or not, but this is 
not related to AppStream (because it's at the package level).
- at the package manager level, you can use those translations if available, 
this is still not related to AppStream
- in the "software center", we use applications metadata (including 
descriptions and their translations). Nothing prevents a distribution from 
fallbacking to package description translations when they are not available at 
the application level, but that shouldn't be the "standard" way.

I see several advantages to this approach :
- easier to work together cross-distribution and to share translations
- you get rid of descriptions like "this package is just like package foo but 
with MP3 support", or other distro-specific information that we sometimes put 
into package descriptions
- probably easier to setup for distributions not having the whole 
infrastructure for package translations
- clear separation between applications and packages metadata
- works better for packages that contain several applications (each 
application has got its own description and translated descriptions)

I don't know what the technical means should be. I favor separate lang 
metadata files for offline use + OCS servers for more up to date translations or 
additionnal information, but there may be problems I don't see with this 
solution. I'm just pretty sure that we don't want them in the main app-
data.xml file because it would become too big.

What do you think of it ?

Best regards

Samuel Verschelde

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