What is this?

Nightmonkey is a simple tool to generate pages containing links to the translatable descriptions of packages appearing in software-center.


Ubuntu includes lots of software packages, which have package descriptions, visible in package management tools, such as Synaptic, update-manager, software-center, 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 descriptions, which are visible in the software-center application, also known as Applications -> Ubuntu Software Center. 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.


Backend features

Nightmonkey's backend can be used to generate a static database file, containing every necessary data for creating 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 on the pages are sorted in alphabetic order, but they can be sorter by the popcon values of the packages, so you can begin translating the more popular applications. 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.

Frontend features

  • Choosing language database
  • Choosing view
    • All packages
    • Packages in Software Center
  • Filtering by repository
  • Filtering by status of the translation
  • Sorting by popcon value or alphabetically
  • Filtering by package name
  • Translatable interface

Use it

Currently, Nightmonkey generates statistics for all languages at: The statistics is updated once a day at 08:00 - CET (be patient, this takes some time).

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:


The project page is: Use it for bugs, translations, and in case you have questions.
IMPORTANT: If you can't find your language in nightmonkey's language list, please ask a question on Launchpad! Adding new languages is currently done manually!


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