We anticipate that some gnu.org translators will find this format odd or inconvenient, if they never happened to work with PO files before7. Don’t worry, you will soon get accustomed to it. It is the established format for translations in the Free World, and you should have no problems if you have translated software before.
The most efficient way to edit a PO file is using a specialized PO editor, because each of them represents and treats gettext messages in a consistent and predictable way. It is possible to edit a PO file with an ordinary plain text editor, but extra effort would be necessary to make it valid. Here is a list of widely used PO editors:
M-x po-mode RET. On some GNU/Linux distros such as gNewSense, PO mode is available in a separate package,
gettext-el. See http://www.gnu.org/software/gettext.
wxWidgetsgraphical toolkit. See http://www.poedit.net.
An alternative way to maintain translations is to use one of the existing online editors. There are plans to install a web-based system for managing .po files at Savannah, including online editing and statistics. Until it happens, teams who wish to use this functionality may setup such a server on a host of their own, or use one of the existing free hosting platforms such as Launchpad (http://translations.launchpad.net).
Here is a short and probably incomplete list of such systems:
If you decide to use such a system, please make sure that no translations are published in HTML format there.
Note that to keep the .pot files regularly updated (assuming such
a web-based system runs
msgmerge automatically), you’ll have
to take care of the one-way regular sync from the ‘www’ CVS
For detailed information about editing PO files, see Working with PO Files in The GNUnited Nations Manual.