[Mediawiki-i18n] Translate FFS support for plurals on Android, iOS?

Brion Vibber bvibber at wikimedia.org
Tue Jul 1 16:01:26 UTC 2014

We need proper support for plurals in some string translations on the
Wikipedia native mobile apps; I'm currently looking at the AndroidFFS
import/export module and trying to figure out how ready that is, and
looking into how to improve the AppleFFS import/export module for iOS/OSX

Android has native plural strings support allowing for a separate complete
string for each plural form. AndroidXmlFFS in Translate has some sort of
import/export conversion into something like
'{{PLURAL|one=foo|others=bar}}' in the messages exposed to translators, but
plurals are not used in the new Wikipedia Android app yet so I see no live
examples. There are a few plural strings in the Android version of the
Commons app we did last year, but those strings do not appear in any of the
localizations and I can't find them in TWN, so I'm worried that the import
of plural strings from the 'strings.xml' doesn't actually work.

Also, the format the AndroidXmlFFS module uses doesn't quite seem the same
as what MediaWiki uses ('{{PLURAL:$1|foo|bar}}'). Is that going to be
confusing for translators, or should we change it to look more like the
MediaWiki form? (Does this require mapping positional parameters to plural
form names, or are they always in a known order?)

iOS 7/OS X 10.9 also has a 'native' way of handling plurals which requires
a second '.stringdict' output file alongside the '.strings' file; or there
are CLDR-powered compatibility libraries like
https://github.com/Smartling/ios-i18n which embed multiple message
alternates in the main '.strings' file.

I could rig up an import/export filter similar to the Android one (or maybe
share the actual list<->parser function conversion code), but first I want
to check if it works and if it's what the translators expect to work

-- brion
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