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What is this?

Nightmonkey (formerly DDTP-lp-html, but this name sucks ;)) is a simple tool to generate static HTML pages, which contain links to the translatable descriptions of packages appearing in gnome-app-install.


Ubuntu includes lots of software packages, which have packacge descriptions, visible in package management tools, such as Synaptic, update-manager, gnome-app-install, etc. Those descriptions are translatable, to make them usable for people not speaking English very well. The problem is the amount of these messages. Translation teams with limited human resources have to somehow decide, which strings to translate. One possible decision is to translate those package desciptions, which are visible in the gnome-app-install application, also known as Applications -> Add/Remove. This is more likely to be seen by new/less technical users, who perhaps don't speak English, so they would find the localized descriptions appearing here more helpful as other places, e.g. Synaptic. Other argument is, that the number of packages appearing here is relatively small, so this subset of strings can be translated by smaller teams in reasonable time.

Debian package translations are one item on NonLanguagePackTranslationDeadline.


Nightmonkey can be used to generate static HTML pages, containing links to the descriptions of given packages in the enormous sized DDTP templates. Also it can indicate if the given string is already translated. The package names in the resulting html files are sorted in alphabetic order, except the file for universe, which is by the popcon values of the packages, so you can begin translating the more popular applications of universe. The input of the program is a package list generated from the .desktop files of app-install-data and the DDTP po templates of the given language.

Collaboration with Debian

Translating package descriptions in Debian happens here:

Translations made here will be imported automatically to Ubuntu. However, pushing translations made in Ubuntu to Debian is a semi-automatic process. Currently, Debian's package description translation system is able to fetch common translations from Launchpad translations regularly, so odds are that translations made in Launchpad will appear in the Debian queue, where it has to be approved. Approval can be done by any two people registered there, so we encourage you to register there and approve your translations that show up as suggestions there.

How to register at the Debian DDTP site

Go to and create a user.

Get it

The software is located in:


  • If you want the resulting html pages localized, translate the po/nightmonkey.pot file, rename it according to your locale, e.g. pt_BR.po, hu.po
  • Run - This will compile the source, download and copy .desktop files to their place (and make sure that sun-java6-jdk is installed)
  • Go to and download the po files for your language. Place them to the html-generator/po_files directory.

  • Run html-generator/ - This will generate the html pages for all po files in the po_files directory
  • Put the resulting html files from the html-generator directory online, tell it's location to your translation team members, create a wiki page (like this) for coordination and start translating!

In action

Currently, Nightmonkey generates statistics for all languages at: The statistics can be updated on demand (be patient, this takes some time).

You can see the generated html pages for Hungarian at:


The project page is: Use it for bugs, translations, and in case you have questions.


Nightmonkey (last edited 2010-02-10 18:41:28 by catv-89-132-76-245)