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June 22, 2012 / thebengaliheart

GSOC Progress Report

I am working under Ankur India for this GSoC, trying to bring easy localization support for programs which do not use gettext. In essence, this means, for Mozilla applications (like Thunderbird, Seamonkey, Firefox), all android applications, it will be easier to make them available to people who want to use it in some other language than English. Initially, the idea is to write a library that allows us to do this easily by performing queries for finding the localized string for a specific locale and making some simple calls to update the translation of a string. This library will then be integrated into Lokalize. The library needs to be written in a reusable way, so I am writing the library in GLib, so that other translation applications, which use C, like gtranslator, can also make use of it for providing localization support for non .po files. The idea is to make the library support file format plugins, or backends. There will be a backend for Mozilla DTD files, one for Mozilla properties files. Both of these are used by applications like Firefox for localization. There will also be backends for stuff like android app string resources, and apple .string files, but for now, the first two backends are the primary targets.

For integrating into Lokalize, I am probably going to create a Qt wrapper around my library (which is named bong), and then use that wrapper from within Lokalize. I have been able to implement .properties file read and write in my library, along with localization notes. Right now, I am working on the Mozilla DTD file format backend. As a side experiment, I have written a version of the library in C++ using Qt from scratch. It is an alternative port of the library in Qt, with the same functionality, just written in Qt. It already has both properties and DTD file format support. Also, I am working on  creating a backend in Lokalize that is able to use our library.
I am really looking forward to completion of my project, since the localization scenario in the free software community is going to vastly improve, with all kinds of applications which do not use gettext (among them, the thousands of android applications that are written every week) becoming easily localizable through Lokalize, the KDE translation tool. And along with the excellent features of Lokalize, it will be a much better and easier experience for translators.
Looking forward to your comments, suggestions, and encouraging words.

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