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13.4.1 ‘POTFILES.in’ in ‘po/

The ‘po/’ directory should receive a file named ‘POTFILES.in’. This file tells which files, among all program sources, have marked strings needing translation. Here is an example of such a file:

# List of source files containing translatable strings.
# Copyright (C) 1995 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

# Common library files
lib/error.c
lib/getopt.c
lib/xmalloc.c

# Package source files
src/gettext.c
src/msgfmt.c
src/xgettext.c

Hash-marked comments and white lines are ignored. All other lines list those source files containing strings marked for translation (see section How Marks Appear in Sources), in a notation relative to the top level of your whole distribution, rather than the location of the ‘POTFILES.in’ file itself.

When a C file is automatically generated by a tool, like flex or bison, that doesn’t introduce translatable strings by itself, it is recommended to list in ‘po/POTFILES.in’ the real source file (ending in ‘.l’ in the case of flex, or in ‘.y’ in the case of bison), not the generated C file.


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