2.3.  English templates handling

2.3.1.  General recommendations

Debian Installer developers are strongly encouraged to read the po-debconf(7) man page and must have a good knowledge of po-debconf mechanisms. Please ask for advice in the mailing list when in doubt.

Templates files must be named <package>.templates. Developer should not use files named debian/templates though debhelper scripts properly handle such files. This requirement has been added because the translators work on a general file which groups together all templates from all Debian Installer packages. This general file mentions, for each string, the originating file name. If this file name contains the package name, the translator will then know which package the string (s)he translates belongs to.

2.3.2.  New debconf templates introduction

Maintainers must respect the Debconf Templates Style Guide (DTSG) (see the Debian Developers Reference, chapter Best Packaging Practices, section General recommendations for authors and translators) and the general style for writing templates for Debian Installer (a special section of the DTSG mentions Debian Installer templates). In any case, before committing new templates or templates changes, these templates must have been reviewed by other Debian Installer developers.

Committing templates with incorrect English or templates with a different writing style than the general Debian Installer writing style could trigger nearly immediate translation work. These translations will later need to be adapted again when the strings are corrected.

For that reason, new templates for an existing Debian Installer package should initially be marked as non translatable. This is done by not prepending the templates fields with an underscore character. Example:

Template: debian-installer/foo/bar
Type: note
Description: New note.
 This is a completely new note, added for package foo.

New Debian Installer packages with debconf templates do not need this. Their templates may be marked as translatable because these packages are ignored by the synchronisation scripts until they are added to the packages/po/packages_list file (Section 6.5, “Translation synchronisation”).

After adding the new templates or the new package, maintainers must request for peer review in .

New packages will be added to the master files only when this review will have been completed.

2.3.3.  Marking strings for translation

Strings which need translation must be prepended by a leading underscore (_) character in the templates files.

After the strings review, the templates must be marked for translation by prepending their field with an underscore character:

Template: debian-installer/foo/bar
Type: note
_Description: New note
 This is a completely new note, added for package foo.

Then, the synchronisation scripts will automatically add the two new strings to the translators file, allowing them to work on translations.