Sunday, November 22, 2009

A bug caused by "make clean"

A Task Coach user reported today that one of the translations (Simplified Chinese) was not working. Not working meaning that instead of the translated texts in the user interface, the original English texts would be shown. A little investigation showed that most translations were OK, but a few were not.

Now, it is necessary to know how Task Coach deals with translations. Task Coach uses Launchpad for translations. Launchpad provides the translations as .po files. These .po files are transformed into Python sources files that are in turn bundled with the different Task Coach installers/packages.

I noticed that a few of these generated Python source files were missing from the folder where the translations are stored. Asking myself how some of these could be missing while others were not, I decided that one possible explanation would be the Makefile not removing all files. So I checked the "clean" target in the Makefile and indeed, it would only remove the "??_??.py" files and not the "??.py" files. That means would get removed, but not. So that explains why some translations, such as Simplified Chinese (zh_CN) and Brazilian Portuguese (pt_BR), were missing and others, such as Dutch (nl) and French (fr), not.

The final question is, of course, how to prevent this from happening ever again. We already have a set of release tests. I guess that adding a release test that checks whether all translations are included in the Task Coach installers and packages should do it.