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9.4 Invoking the msgfilter Program

msgfilter [option] filter [filter-option]

The msgfilter program applies a filter to all translations of a translation catalog.

During each filter invocation, the environment variable MSGFILTER_MSGID is bound to the message’s msgid, and the environment variable MSGFILTER_LOCATION is bound to the location in the PO file of the message. If the message has a context, the environment variable MSGFILTER_MSGCTXT is bound to the message’s msgctxt, otherwise it is unbound. If the message has a plural form, environment variable MSGFILTER_MSGID_PLURAL is bound to the message’s msgid_plural and MSGFILTER_PLURAL_FORM is bound to the order number of the plural actually processed (starting with 0), otherwise both are unbound. If the message has a previous msgid (added by msgmerge), environment variable MSGFILTER_PREV_MSGCTXT is bound to the message’s previous msgctxt, MSGFILTER_PREV_MSGID is bound to the previous msgid, and MSGFILTER_PREV_MSGID_PLURAL is bound to the previous msgid_plural.

9.4.1 Input file location

-i inputfile
--input=inputfile

Input PO file.

-D directory
--directory=directory

Add directory to the list of directories. Source files are searched relative to this list of directories. The resulting .po file will be written relative to the current directory, though.

If no inputfile is given or if it is ‘-’, standard input is read.

9.4.2 Output file location

-o file
--output-file=file

Write output to specified file.

The results are written to standard output if no output file is specified or if it is ‘-’.

9.4.3 The filter

The filter can be any program that reads a translation from standard input and writes a modified translation to standard output. A frequently used filter is ‘sed’. A few particular built-in filters are also recognized.

Note: If the filter is not a built-in filter, you have to care about encodings: It is your responsibility to ensure that the filter can cope with input encoded in the translation catalog’s encoding. If the filter wants input in a particular encoding, you can in a first step convert the translation catalog to that encoding using the ‘msgconv’ program, before invoking ‘msgfilter’. If the filter wants input in the locale’s encoding, but you want to avoid the locale’s encoding, then you can first convert the translation catalog to UTF-8 using the ‘msgconv’ program and then make ‘msgfilter’ work in an UTF-8 locale, by using the LC_ALL environment variable.

Note: Most translations in a translation catalog don’t end with a newline character. For this reason, it is important that the filter recognizes its last input line even if it ends without a newline, and that it doesn’t add an undesired trailing newline at the end. The ‘sed’ program on some platforms is known to ignore the last line of input if it is not terminated with a newline. You can use GNU sed instead; it does not have this limitation.

9.4.4 Useful filter-options when the filter is ‘sed

-e script
--expression=script

Add script to the commands to be executed.

-f scriptfile
--file=scriptfile

Add the contents of scriptfile to the commands to be executed.

-n
--quiet
--silent

Suppress automatic printing of pattern space.

9.4.5 Built-in filters

The filter ‘recode-sr-latin’ is recognized as a built-in filter. The command ‘recode-sr-latin’ converts Serbian text, written in the Cyrillic script, to the Latin script. The command ‘msgfilter recode-sr-latin’ applies this conversion to the translations of a PO file. Thus, it can be used to convert an sr.po file to an sr@latin.po file.

The filter ‘quot’ is recognized as a built-in filter. The command ‘msgfilter quot’ converts any quotations surrounded by a pair of ‘"’, ‘'’, and ‘`’.

The filter ‘boldquot’ is recognized as a built-in filter. The command ‘msgfilter boldquot’ converts any quotations surrounded by a pair of ‘"’, ‘'’, and ‘`’, also adding the VT100 escape sequences to the text to decorate it as bold.

The use of built-in filters is not sensitive to the current locale’s encoding. Moreover, when used with a built-in filter, ‘msgfilter’ can automatically convert the message catalog to the UTF-8 encoding when needed.

9.4.6 Input file syntax

-P
--properties-input

Assume the input file is a Java ResourceBundle in Java .properties syntax, not in PO file syntax.

--stringtable-input

Assume the input file is a NeXTstep/GNUstep localized resource file in .strings syntax, not in PO file syntax.

9.4.7 Output details

--color
--color=when

Specify whether or when to use colors and other text attributes. See The --color option for details.

--style=style_file

Specify the CSS style rule file to use for --color. See The --style option for details.

--force-po

Always write an output file even if it contains no message.

--indent

Write the .po file using indented style.

--keep-header

Keep the header entry, i.e. the message with ‘msgid ""’, unmodified, instead of filtering it. By default, the header entry is subject to filtering like any other message.

--no-location

Do not write ‘#: filename:line’ lines.

-n
--add-location=type

Generate ‘#: filename:line’ lines (default).

The optional type can be either ‘full’, ‘file’, or ‘never’. If it is not given or ‘full’, it generates the lines with both file name and line number. If it is ‘file’, the line number part is omitted. If it is ‘never’, it completely suppresses the lines (same as --no-location).

--strict

Write out a strict Uniforum conforming PO file. Note that this Uniforum format should be avoided because it doesn’t support the GNU extensions.

-p
--properties-output

Write out a Java ResourceBundle in Java .properties syntax. Note that this file format doesn’t support plural forms and silently drops obsolete messages.

--stringtable-output

Write out a NeXTstep/GNUstep localized resource file in .strings syntax. Note that this file format doesn’t support plural forms.

-w number
--width=number

Set the output page width. Long strings in the output files will be split across multiple lines in order to ensure that each line’s width (= number of screen columns) is less or equal to the given number.

--no-wrap

Do not break long message lines. Message lines whose width exceeds the output page width will not be split into several lines. Only file reference lines which are wider than the output page width will be split.

-s
--sort-output

Generate sorted output. Note that using this option makes it much harder for the translator to understand each message’s context.

-F
--sort-by-file

Sort output by file location.

9.4.8 Informative output

-h
--help

Display this help and exit.

-V
--version

Output version information and exit.

9.4.9 Examples

To convert German translations to Swiss orthography (in an UTF-8 locale):

msgconv -t UTF-8 de.po | msgfilter sed -e 's/ß/ss/g'

To convert Serbian translations in Cyrillic script to Latin script:

msgfilter recode-sr-latin < sr.po

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