updated as of: April 1, 2015
last author: Andy Theuninck
The latest documentation can be found on the Project Wiki. The information below may be out of date.
This is a quick primer on using gettext in conjunction with PHP to store message strings in various languages.


Using gettext in PHP is pretty simple. Instead of writing:
echo "I am awesome"
use on of the following:
echo gettext("I am awesome")
echo _("I am awesome")
I tend to use the underscore version. If the string hasn't been translated, everything will still work fine. It'll just return exactly the input unmodified.

Creating / Managing Language Files

This is by no means the only method. Other tools exist for editing these kind of files. Examples are command-line based, executed from the pos/is4c-nf directory
First, we need a list of all the messages. This is normally in a .pot file. Generate it like this:
find . -name '*.php' | xargs xgettext -L PHP -d pos-nf -o locale/pos-nf.pot --no-wrap -j
Try not to forget the -j option. That merges things so existing translations in the .pot file are preserved. The .pot file is just a text file. Update the msgstr values in it as needed.

Next, we need to translate the .pot file into a .po file. The command is this:

msgmerge -U locale/pos-nf_en_US.po locale/pos-nf.pot
Some programs can edit .po files directly.

Finally, we need to translate the .po file into a .mo file. The .mo is the binary file that gettext actually uses to look up translations. The .po to .mo command is this:

msgfmt -v -o locale/en_US/LC_MESSAGES/pos-nf.mo locale/pos-nf_en_US.po