intltool and po/LINGUAS

Rodney: my suggestions for intltool were not intended as an attack. I just don’t really see much benefit in intltool providing its own po/ file.

The primary difference between the intltool po/ and the version provided by gettext or glib is that it calls intltool-update rather than xgettext to update the PO template, so that strings get correctly extracted from files types like desktop entries, Bonobo component registration files, or various other XML files.

The current method intltool uses to get intltool-update called (providing its own po/ is a lot better than the previous method (maintaining patches for the po/ files from various versions of gettext and then deciding which one to apply), however it can make it difficult to take advantage of new gettext features (the po/LINGUAS file being the most recent example). If it was possible for intltool-update to be called without any modification to the po/ file that gettext installs then this sort of problem wouldn’t occur.

The standard po/ uses the makefile variable $(XGETTEXT) as the program to extract translations for the PO template. If intltool had a program (or a mode for one of the existing programs) that was command line argument compatible with xgettext, then all that would be necessary would be to redefine $(XGETTEXT) to the appropriate value. Since $(XGETTEXT) is set through a simple autoconf substitution, this should be very easy to do from intltool’s M4 autoconf macro.