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2.4 Defining Articles to Be Built

The file contains variable definitions, based on which almost all other important variables are computed. In other words, the variables defined in that file directly affect the overall behavior of the build process.

There are two types of variables, which are specifically separated in order to make translators’ life easier: variables that translators are free to modify and variables that are modified by the web-translators7, ideally after performing some local tests. A translation team leader should update only FUZZY_DIFF_LINGUAS and TEMPLATE_LINGUAS; everything else is supposed to be built automagically, without manual intervention. If not, that is a bug that should be reported and fixed.

You can also request building files separately this way:

make -C server/gnun ../../philosophy/

A space-separated list with languages. Add here your language code if and only if you have all the SSI templates translated, and have already committed all template files listed in the extra-templates and localized-ssis variables in server/gnun/


Add your language code here if you want GNUN to add differences to “previous” msgids in your PO files. See The gnun-add-fuzzy-diff Script, for more information.


This variable lists the templates that are not under GNUN’s control and are translated manually, like

  • - server/header.lang.html
  • - server/head-include-1.lang.html
  • - server/banner.lang.html
  • - server/footer.lang.html.

They contain HTML code and SSI directives; PO4A doesn’t extract them to any messages in PO files.


The extra-templates variable lists templates under GNUN control; they are rebuilt from corresponding template.lang.po files; when the template.lang.po file is absent, GNUN initializes and commits a file with empty msgstrs.


The optional-templates variable defines optional templates under GNUN control. Those are the templates of low priority items, like news lines included in some pages. They are managed like the additional templates listed in the extra-templates variable, except

  • - template.lang.po is not added when absent, and
  • - their POTs end in .pot.opt rather than .pot.

This way, the scripts reporting outdated translations and translations that haven’t been converted to PO files won’t complain about them unless the team decides to actually commit template.lang.po.


The sitemap variable declares the pages that are treated like sitemaps, that is, an additional externally generated compendium is used when updating them. See Building Sitemap, for more information.


Add here articles that are in the server root, like home.html and keepingup.html. Always write only the basename of the article, i.e. if you add these two articles, the value of ROOT should be home keepingup. This is true for all the variables that expect values in the form of article names.


The list of directories containing articles, like philosophy, gnu, licenses, etc.


A space-separated list of basenames for articles residing in directory, for which POTs will be generated and updated when the original article changes. If an article is missing here, GNUN doesn’t maintain its translations.



Only because presumably, they are more familiar with GNUnited Nations’ internals. From a purely technical point of view, there is no difference.

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