Elric's random thoughts in idle times

"Why stop now, when I'm just starting to hate it?" – Marvin the robot

Debian: virtaal 0.6.1 and translate-toolkit 1.7

with 3 comments

Edit: You might want to try the newest beta releases. The packages have been tested on Debian Squeeze and Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10, and work just fine. Take a look into the amazing enhancements this release will offer by downloading the deb packages from Translate.org.za!

Definitely, virtaal is my po editor of choice. It’s clean interface and ease of use are the best virtues of this application. translate-toolkit is a dependency for virtaal and Pootle as well as a CLI tool to manipulate po files. If you haven’t used it yet, you’ll be surprised by the enhances it may bring to your work.
Ok, virtaal doesn’t do half of what Lokalize does, but I only use a quarter of what Lokalize does. Gtranslator is a fine tool, but development seems to be stopped. It is a stable and full piece of software, but I’m not a fan of the interface either. Poedit isn’t that great, in my opinion. However, Virtaal’s integration with translate-toolkit, offering nice enhancements, promising a bright future, and its interface just beat all aforementioned.

Obligatory image:

As you can see there are NO extra buttons, and the layout looks like a side-by-side sheet presentation. Beautiful.
It also allows access to machine translation services such as Google, Moses and Opentran. Other features include highlighted diffs between the translation memory suggestions, a don’t-touch-your-mouse approach, and much more.

One thing that saddens me is how late updates can be for these two packages in Debian (not incredibly late, just to much for me to wait :), and in this particular case, there was a bug rendering the preferences window pretty useless that was fixed in this release (thanks to Walter). As I couldn’t wait for long :) I just built the packages from the latest sources. It’s working great for me, but use at your own risk.
Actually, I’m doing this so often (build newer packages or rebuild other with different options) that I should consider starting a ppa. Anway, these are the links for both packages.



Happy FOSS translating!


Written by elric80

June 4, 2010 at 11:10 am

3 Responses

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  1. Hi Omar. Thank you for the nice review! Maybe you can report a bug against the Debian packages, or offer to become a maintainer? I hope we can improve the state of the Debian packages soon.

    Also, would you consider helping to complete the translation of Virtaal in Spanish? You can see the current state here:

    I’d like to have a top-notch translation in Spanish – we already have Catalan, Valencian, Galician, Basque and Asturian at 100% :-)

    F Wolff

    June 7, 2010 at 7:11 am

    • I will send a wishlist bugs tonight asking for an update.

      About maintaining it, I do know the basics about packaging, and virtaal seems pretty easy to package, I just don’t have enough knowledge to apply for DM. Just learning bash scripting and basic C as of now, but if I keep learning, I might apply. I am a language nerd, not a programmer :)

      About the translation, I just opened an account at Pootle server, and I’ll be sending an update file pretty soon .


      June 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm

  2. In the meantime, let me express my most sincere thankfulness for making these packages available (especially Virtaal). Sometimes one can’t just wait for pieces of software to be packaged for there are things that must be done with the most up-to-date versions of programs, even though I’m running a mixture of testing, sid and experimental in order to avoid such scenarios. I’m quite an illitterate so I can only be grateful to DMs for their work but it’s people like you that make the difference! Thanks!


    July 15, 2010 at 11:12 pm

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