[Numpy-discussion] Internationalization of numpy/scipy docstrings...

Tim Cera tim at cerazone.net
Sat May 19 18:04:43 EDT 2012

I have thought for a long time that it would be nice to have numpy/scipy
docs in multiple languages.  I didn't have any idea how to do it until I
saw http://sphinx.pocoo.org/intl.html.  The gettext builder which is a
requirement to make this happen is relatively new to sphinx.

Outline of above applied to numpy/scipy...

1. pydocweb would use the new gettext builder to convert *.rst to *.pot

2. Translators would use pootle to edit the *.pot files to *.po files

   pydocweb or pootle would use mgsfmt to create *.mo files

3. From here can choose either:

    a. Have pydocweb use sphinx-build to create new,

       translated *.rst files from the *.mo files.

       (my favorite since we would have *.rst files)

    b. OR use gettext in Python to translate docstring

       on-the-fly from the *.mo files.

A user would then install a language kit, maybe something like scikits
and access the translated docstring with a new 'np.info'.  As near as I can
figure, Python 'help' command can't be replaced by something else, so
'help' would always display the English docstring.

I have pydocweb and pootle setup locally and working.  Ran into a problem
though with sphinx-build creating the initial *.pot files. It seems to be a
problem with numpydoc.  It fails on 'function' and 'auto*' directives.  I
tried to look at numpydoc and it is a bit of very intense coding and I
frankly have not been able to find my way around.

I am willing to put in some work for this to happen. My block right now is
getting the initial *.pot files.

Any interest?

You can see the problem directly by changing into the numpy/doc directory
and use the following command:

    sphinx-build -b gettext -P source/ gettext/

Once sphinx-build is working, then the target build directory (which I
called 'gettext' above) would be in a location accessible to pootle.

Kindest regards,
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