gettextize program is an interactive tool that helps the
maintainer of a package internationalized through GNU
It is used for two purposes:
gettextfor the first time.
gettextsupport in a package from a previous to a newer version of GNU
This program performs the following tasks:
gettextversions to the form recommended for the current GNU
It can be invoked as follows:
gettextize [ option… ] [ directory ]
and accepts the following options:
Force replacement of files which already exist.
Specify a directory containing PO files. Such a directory contains the translations into various languages of a particular POT file. This option can be specified multiple times, once for each translation domain. If it is not specified, the directory named po/ is updated.
Don’t update or create ChangeLog files. By default,
logs all changes (file additions, modifications and removals) in a
file called ‘ChangeLog’ in each affected directory.
Make symbolic links instead of copying the needed files. This can be
useful to save a few kilobytes of disk space, but it requires extra
effort to create self-contained tarballs, it may disturb some mechanism
the maintainer applies to the sources, and it is likely to introduce
bugs when a newer version of
gettext is installed on the system.
Print modifications but don’t perform them. All actions that
gettextize would normally execute are inhibited and instead only
listed on standard output.
Display this help and exit.
Output version information and exit.
If directory is given, this is the top level directory of a
package to prepare for using GNU
gettext. If not given, it
is assumed that the current directory is the top level directory of
such a package.
gettextize provides the following files. However,
no existing file will be replaced unless the option
-f) is specified.
gettextdistribution (beware the double ‘.in’ in the file name) and a few auxiliary files. If the po/ directory already exists, it will be preserved along with the files it contains, and only Makefile.in.in and the auxiliary files will be overwritten.
If ‘--po-dir’ has been specified, this holds for every directory specified through ‘--po-dir’, instead of po/.
automake: A set of
autoconfmacro files is copied into the package’s
autoconfmacro repository, usually in a directory called m4/.
If your site support symbolic links,
gettextize will not
actually copy the files into your package, but establish symbolic
links instead. This avoids duplicating the disk space needed in
all packages. Merely using the ‘-h’ option while creating the
tar archive of your distribution will resolve each link by an
actual copy in the distribution archive. So, to insist, you really
should use ‘-h’ option with
tar within your
goal of your main Makefile.in.
gettextize will update all Makefile.am files
in each affected directory, as well as the top level configure.ac
or configure.in file.
It is interesting to understand that most new files for supporting
gettext facilities in one package go in po/ and
m4/ subdirectories. Still, these directories will mostly
contain package dependent files.
gettextize program makes backup files for all files it
replaces or changes, and also write ChangeLog entries about these
changes. This way, the careful maintainer can check after running
gettextize whether its changes are acceptable to him, and
possibly adjust them. An exception to this rule is the intl/
directory, which is removed as a whole if it still existed.
It is important to understand that
gettextize can not do the
entire job of adapting a package for using GNU
amount of remaining work depends on whether the package uses GNU
automake or not. But in any case, the maintainer should still
read the section Files You Must Create or Alter after invoking
In particular, if after using ‘gettexize’, you get an error ‘AC_COMPILE_IFELSE was called before AC_GNU_SOURCE’ or ‘AC_RUN_IFELSE was called before AC_GNU_SOURCE’, you can fix it by modifying configure.ac, as described in configure.ac at top level.
It is also important to understand that
gettextize is not part
of the GNU build system, in the sense that it should not be invoked
automatically, and not be invoked by someone who doesn’t assume the
responsibilities of a package maintainer. For the latter purpose, a
separate tool is provided, see Invoking the