Translating lots of app "summaries"

The short 80-character text that describes an app is known as the “summary” in F-Droid. This is the description that most users see, since it is on the “Latest” and “Categories” views, as well as the “App Details” view. In F-Droid, we recently added full support for localization. But the vast majority of apps are still only available with English summaries and descriptions.

I was thinking it could be worthwhile for the F-Droid community to maintain its own “summaries” for many apps, making them available for translation here:

Then as the apps include the translatable summaries and descriptions in their own source repos, we can remove them from our translation infrastructure.


it would be great if would have a link to a good example opensource url for each type of supported format that is also available in fdroid.

This way developers can see what. goes in and what comes out.

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If the rule for translators is clear “this translation will be lost once the project will provide translation support”, it is a great idea indeed.

Weblate let you write a comment for a specific project or component, displaying a blue headline like the one in I assume you just have to ask, or maybe you can do it yourself in project’s settings.
You also should explain to translator they can search for “description”, “name”, “summary” or “changelog” in context, if they wish to focus on some part of the content.

Btw, why should it be a difference between summary and names/changelog/etc?

Summaries are easy to handle in Weblate, since they are just a single
line that has to be shorter than 80 chars. Changelogs, Descriptions,
etc. are a lot more complicated since they are long form text and have

Yes, the idea is to defer to upstream as much as possible, unless we have a specific reason to override upstream’s descriptive materials. Hopefully the upstream projects would include our summary translations instead of just discarding them.

I think I should be able to make a demo about how to handle texts (Changelogs, Descriptions,

Can I use this as a test folder?

I know it already handles translations, but I’m looking for a folder with many files.
Please confirm, or suggest any other folder for this demo.

That seems fine for a demo. Or org.wikipedia is another good one.

I’m not sure I understand what you want to do with that folder.

oh, really sorry about that, thank you for the reminder, here is a short demonstration:

I tried to add as much comments as possible.
What it does: from txt file to translate, it generates a generic pot file, create and/or update existing po files, and publish a localized content.
You just have to run the bash script.

We are using po4a for the website now, and it seems like a lot of manual work to manage. I have absolutely no time left to take on a project like that, I already can’t keep up with what’s there. So we need to get more people involved or simplify things.

Managing the names and summaries of apps in our own translation project will be really quite easy to do, and can be almost completely automated. For descriptions, those can be managed by each app. So your prototype could help with figuring out the best workflow for app developers to manage descriptions and changelogs (longer blocks of text). Here are my thoughts on that:

Since is implemented and deployed, I’m reopening this. My plan is to make a list of popular apps that do not use upstream text metadata (e.g. fastlane/triple-t). Then for those, move the summary to the fdroiddata per-app metadata subdirs, where they can be translated via

@kingu @Licaon_Kter @ButterflyOfFire @ldmpub @yaron @Osoitz @k3b @mesnevi @critdroid @asereze
translators, I really would like to hear from you on this topic. Does it make sense to translate the one line “summary” aka “short description” for every app in F-Droid? Or just the most popular ones? This summary is displayed on the Latest tab, Categories, and the Search app listing. So translating the summaries means that it would then be possible to have all screens except the per-app “App Details” to be fully translated.

If it makes sense for the Description, then yes.

I won’t bother for my locale, but I see many translating full descriptions so I guess this is useful.

I am hoping it will be easy to migrate whatever is hosted under F-Droid’s control outside of it, should someone wish to self-host it, or keep the Hosted Weblate-chain of command one hop shorter.

Providing translations is a decision on behalf of others, and it is free software, but it is still under original project name, so it isn’t enough to say one can host a F-Droid repo of ones own if something has, or should fail.

Lets say the Hosted Weblate looks to the app upstream repo for the GitLab/GitHub Weblate-user addon, project maintainers could just turn on that and have the same governance the (Git) project already has.

It is possible (technically) to give out a single-use token from Hosted Weblate and have commit-rights confirmed by making the file in the respective project source repo tree, instead of having a huge F-Droid Hosted Weblate repo where user rights are micromanaged. Then again I did sign up for that, and am happy to do it manually in the interim. It isn’t set up yet, and I imagine there are more pressing issues, but it will help offload some admin work, which there would possibly be a whole lot more of with thousands of projects asked to follow in line.

What that TL;DR boils down to is I am curious about what happens with regular project translations, F-Droid/the effort should make it easy to have that in the same auto-place.
Android-projects are really easy that way, rarely is there ever anything custom about how translation directories are sorted and so on.

I know @hans made a field in the F-Droid client, next to license and versions, for ~“translation platform”, I have yet to see anyone make use of it, but that would be a great way of keeping track of who uses what, in a way that benefits users and in turn the project alike, instead of stepping on toes. If that is present, and it is Weblate (which I understand to be the only thing supporting “summaries”, etc. then I propose to ask if they want to use their own, instead of there being a lot of migrating left and right.

Does it make sens to have an option to not show apps that are not 100% translated?
It is the same question. When there is someone willing to do the work, it is a question of facilitating it. I don’t see anyone arguing for less coverage being good.

It is a finite problem, and it is overcomable to get through it, through the process of which, the source strings will inevitably improve alongside the translations.

The most popular apps will probably garner the most attention, and even there, having just browsed through the descriptions, it is sorely needed.

Allow translation of everything, and see the minimum amount of effort turn into the biggest possible difference, for any language. Should this prove to be wrong, and it for some reason turns into something else, it is easily revertable.

Newb question. How do you determine the popularity of an app? I’m guessing there’s a download counter that keeps track. (?)

@Licaon_Kter the full descriptions are only translated in fdroid for about 5 apps. I am not proposing adding any more full descriptions (4000 characters) only the summary/short descriptions (80 characters / one line).

@kingu the proposed translations are publicly available in git and weblate. They are in both F-Droid/Fastlane format and index JSON. We of course want upstream to adopt our translations. About the Translation: field for apps, I’ve been adding that as I find where apps are translating. There is only about 20 or 30 apps with that field right now. Part of that is because the feature isn’t very visible. If someone added it to the website, then it would be more visible. Also, if you know where some apps are being translated, then please submit merge requests to add Translation: fields!

@mapel we have no analytics, but I think its a safe bet to consider VLC more popular than Checkey. I’ll guess, that’s how I’ll determine which is more popular :joy:

Ok, the big dump is up on Weblate: I also cleaned a lot of things up, including newlines in the long descriptions. There are lots of machine translations included for many languages, so even though the languages are showing as 100% complete, it would be good if a human went through and reviewed all the errors/suggestions/etc/

I have tried on some item and I found it is a little difficult for some app if I don’t know what it is. Could you add the long description into the comment?

I put them in the comment for each summary string, there you should see
a URL that will take you to that app’s page, for example:
"Read about the app here: "

That was showing up properly yesterday. But there seems to be a bug in
Weblate where it reverted to the old comment (e.g. “This is limited by
Google to 80 characters”).

Try doing a hard refresh of the screen in the browser.

As a workaround, you can see the “package name” in the Context string,
and copy and paste that without -summary onto” to make the URL, for example this:

Context: en-US.xliff///de.drhoffmannsoftware.calcvac-summary


Here’s my bug report, please add any other info you might have: