Translate Toolkit & Pootle

Tools to help you make your software local

User Tools

Pootle Offline

This page collects ideas on using Pootle as an offline editor, in other words, an editor that works standalone on a single computer. See off-line translation editor specifications for the specifications of the GUI toolkit based offline editor.

Pootle already works as an offline editor if invoked with the --startbrowser option. With some work we could change Pootle to easily run on a local machine and provide an experience similar to that of using a local application. The benefit would be that very little work should be required to make an offline editor, and to maintain it. (All improvements to Pootle immediately applies to our “offline editor” and any improvements to editing in general for the “offline editor” become available for the online Pootle editor.)


This will have a lot of advantages for us:

  • Minimal work is needed before we have a fully featured offline editor.
  • No GUI toolkit needs to be chosen, learnt, etc.
  • If someone does this work on Pootle, they would have already learned more about Pootle and will be able to more easily contribute to Pootle and the toolkit afterwards.
  • Only one editor needs to be maintained, and most improvements will be available for online and offline use.
  • Existing Pootle programmers might be more available to help people get up to speed.
  • We don't need to manage another project (test, package, release, etc.)
  • Bugs ony need to be fixed in one place.
  • No need to somehow get our storage classes to work with another editor, as we already make it work in Pootle.
  • We don't need to keep track of which editor supports which features, etc.
  • We are as crossplatform as HTML, HTTP and Python are.
  • No extra work in localising another editor or to ensure that it displays and works well on other platforms.
  • Means we wouldn't need to compete with other translation editors (poEdit, gtranslator, kbabel, OmegaT, etc)
  • Integration or TM and Glossary would work live and offline.
  • The webs simplicity would make us have to focus on making the interface simple (which does not mean it would not be a rich interface)
  • SVN & CVS access is already integrated
  • Any development in distributed Pootle will work with offline and online and allow much better debugging of that avenue of code


  • HTML implementations can be inconsistant
  • HTML coding can be difficult (perhaps more difficult than learning a new toolkit)
  • Doesn't have the look of a native application
  • Limited by the web paradigm


For offline editing, we need to enable Pootle to run in a different mode than the normal server mode. This is already supported by the --startbrowser option. This will allow file editing, but not admin options, etc. This way it still operates similarly to the way it does now, but is only available to a browser on the local system.

Things to disable for offline use

  • Account registration, activation, login and administration
  • Rights management and administration
  • Language administration

Things to add for offline use

  • More flexibility as to where files are stored ie across filesystem not just in one place
  • Only available to local machine
  • Some concept of browsing the filesystem
  • Makeing project setup simpler
  • Checking on how we detect projedct styles (KDE layout vs GNU)

Things that are shared

  • Goal setting
  • Error checking (pofilter)