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- create a message object from a message file
msgfmt [-D dir | --directory=dir] [-f | --use-fuzzy] [-g] [-o output-file | --output-file=output-file] [-s] [--strict] [-v] [--verbose] filename.po...
The msgfmt utility creates message object files from portable object files (filename.po), without changing the portable object files.
The .po file contains messages displayed to users by system commands or by application programs. .po files can be edited. The messages in these files can be rewritten in any language supported by the system.
The xgettext(1) command can be used to create .po files from script or programs.
msgfmt interprets data as characters according to the current setting of the LC_CTYPE locale category or according to the codeset specified in the .po file.
The following options are supported:
Adds dir to the list for input files search.
Uses fuzzy entries in output. If this option is not specified, fuzzy entries are not included into the output. These options are ignored if Solaris message catalogs are processed.
Directs the utility to generate the GNU-compatible message catalog file. This option cannot be specified with the -s option.
Specifies the output file name as output-file. All domain directives and duplicate msgids in the .po file are ignored.
Directs the utility to generate the Solaris message catalog file. This option cannot be specified with the -g option.
Directs the utility to append the suffix .mo to the generating message object file name if it doesn't have this suffix. This option is ignored if Solaris message catalogs are processed.
Verbose. Lists duplicate message identifiers if Solaris message catalog files are processed. Message strings are not redefined.
If GNU-compatible message files are processed, this option detects and diagnoses input file anomalies which might represent translation errors. The msgid and msgstr strings are studied and compared. It is considered abnormal if one string starts or ends with a newline while the other does not. Also, if the string represents a format string used in a printf-like function, both strings should have the same number of % format specifiers, with matching types. If the flag c-format appears in the special comment '#' for this entry, a check is performed.
The format of portable object files (.po files) is defined as follows. Each .po file contains one or more lines, with each line containing either a comment or a statement. Comments start the line with a pound sign (#) and end with the newline character. All comments (except special comments described later) and empty lines are ignored. The format of a statement is:
Each directive starts at the beginning of the line and is separated from value by white space (such as one or more space or tab characters). value consists of one or more quoted strings separated by white space. Use any of the following types of directives for the Solaris message file:
domain domainname msgid message_identifier msgstr message_string
For a GNU-compatible message file, use any of the following types of directives:
domain domainname msgid message_identifier msgid_plural untranslated_string_plural msgstr message_string msgstr[n] message_string
The behavior of the domain directive is affected by the options used. See OPTIONS for the behavior when the -o or --output-file options are specified. If the -o or --output-file options are not specified, the behavior of the domain directive is as follows:
All msgids from the beginning of each .po file to the first domain directive are put into a default message object file. The default message object file is named messages.mo, if the Solaris message catalog file format is used to generate the message object file or if the --strict option is specified. Otherwise, the default message object file is named messages.
When msgfmt encounters a domain domainname directive in the .po file, all following msgids until the next domain directive are put into the message object file, named domainname.mo, if the Solaris message catalog file format is used to generate the message object file or if the --strict option is specified. Otherwise, the msgids are put into the message object file named domainname.
Duplicate msgids are defined in the scope of each domain. That is, a msgid is considered a duplicate only if the identical msgid exists in the same domain.
All duplicate msgids are ignored.
The msgid directive specifies the value of a message identifier associated with the directive that follows it. The msgid_plural directive specifies the plural form message specified to the plural message handling functions ngettext(), dngettext(), or dcngettext(). The message_identifier string identifies a target string to be used at retrieval time. Each statement containing a msgid directive must be followed by a statement containing a msgstr directive or msgstr[n] directives.
The msgstr directive specifies the target string associated with the message_identifier string declared in the immediately preceding msgid directive.
The directive msgstr[n] (where n = 0, 1, 2, ...) specifies the target string to be used with plural form handling functions ngettext(), dngettext(), and dcngetttext().
Message strings can contain the escape sequences \n for newline, \t for tab, \v for vertical tab, \b for backspace, \r for carriage return, \f for formfeed, \\ for backslash, \" for double quote, \a for alarm, \ddd for octal bit pattern, and \xDD for hexadecimal bit pattern.
Comments for a GNU-compatible message file should be in one of the following formats (the msgfmt utility will ignore these comments when processing Solaris message files):
# translator-comments #. automatic-comments #: reference.. #, flag
The '#:' comments indicate the location of the msgid string in the source files in filename:line format. The '#', '#.', and '#:' comments are informative only and are silently ignored by the msgfmt utility. The '#,' comments require one or more flags separated by the comma character. The following flags can be specified:
This flag can be inserted by the translator. It shows that the msgstr string might not be a correct translation (anymore). Only the translator can judge if the translation requires further modification or is acceptable as is. Once satisfied with the translation, the translator removes this fuzzy flag. If this flag is specified, the msgfmt utility will not generate the entry for the immediately following msgid in the output message catalog.
The c-format flag indicates that the msgid string is used as a format string by printf-like functions. In case the c-format flag is given for a string, the msgfmt utility does some more tests to check the validity of the translation.
In the GNU-compatible message file, the msgid entry with empty string ("") is called the header entry and treated specially. If the message string for the header entry contains nplurals=value, the value indicates the number of plural forms. For example, if nplurals=4, there are four plural forms. If nplurals is defined, the same line should contain plural=expression, separated by a semicolon character. The expression is a C language expression to determine which version of msgstr[n] is to be used based on the value of n, the last argument of ngettext(), dngettext(), or dcngettext(). For example,
nplurals=2; plural= n == 1 ? 0 : 1
indicates that there are two plural forms in the language. msgstr is used if n == 1, otherwise msgstr is used. For another example:
nplurals=3; plural= n == 1 ? 0 : n == 2 ? 1 : 2
indicates that there are three plural forms in the language. msgstr is used if n == 1, msgstr is used if n == 2, otherwise msgstr is used.
If the header entry contains a charset=codeset string, the codeset is used to indicate the codeset to be used to encode the message strings. If the output string's codeset is different from the message string's codeset, codeset conversion from the message string's codeset to the output string's codeset will be performed upon the call of gettext(), dgettext(), dcgettext(), ngettext(), dngettext(), and dcngettext() for the GNU-compatible message catalogs. The output string's codeset is determined by the current locale's codeset (the return value of nl_langinfo(CODESET)) by default, and can be changed by the call of bind_textdomain_codeset().
The msgfmt utility can generate the message object both in Solaris message catalog file format and in GNU-compatible message catalog file format. If the -s option is specified and the input file is a Solaris .po file, the msgfmt utility generates the message object in Solaris message catalog file format. If the -g option is specified and the input file is a GNU .po file, the msgfmt utility generates the message object in GNU-compatible message catalog file format. If neither the -s nor -g option is specified, the msgfmt utility determines the message catalog file format as follows:
If the .po file contains a valid GNU header entry (having an empty string for msgid), the msgfmt utility uses the GNU-compatible message catalog file format.
Otherwise, the msgfmt utility uses the Solaris message catalog file format.
If the msgfmt utility determined that the Solaris message catalog file format is used, as above, but found the .po file contains directives that are specific to the GNU-compatible message catalog file format, such as msgid_plural and msgstr[n], the msgfmt utility handles those directives as invalid specifications.
Example 1 Creating message objects from message files
In this example, module1.po and module2.po are portable message objects files.
example% cat module1.po # default domain "messages.mo" msgid "msg 1" msgstr "msg 1 translation" # domain "help_domain" msgid "help 2" msgstr "help 2 translation" # domain "error_domain" msgid "error 3" msgstr "error 3 translation" example% cat module2.po # default domain "messages.mo" msgid "mesg 4" msgstr "mesg 4 translation" # domain "error_domain" msgid "error 5" msgstr "error 5 translation" # domain "window_domain" msgid "window 6" msgstr "window 6 translation"
The following command will produce the output files messages.mo, help_domain.mo, and error_domain.mo in Solaris message catalog file format:
example% msgfmt module1.po
The following command will produce the output files messages.mo, help_domain.mo, error_domain.mo, and window_domain.mo in Solaris message catalog file format:
example% msgfmt module1.po module2.po
The following command will produce the output file hello.mo in Solaris message catalog file format:
example% msgfmt -o hello.mo module1.po module2.po
See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environmental variables that affect the execution of msgfmt: LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, and NLSPATH.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
Installing message catalogs under the C locale is pointless, since they are ignored for the sake of efficiency.