[Xfce-i18n] New translators, some information on how to proceed

Jasper Huijsmans jasper at xfce.org
Mon Jun 11 20:44:25 CEST 2007


You can tell from the time it takes to respond how much time I have to 
spend on Xfce. Sorry about that :(

tegegne tefera wrote:
> On 6/5/07, *Jasper Huijsmans* <jasper at xfce.org <mailto:jasper at xfce.org>> 
> wrote:


>     If some
>     things are unclear, please ask, so we can try and make things easier. 
>      >
>      > xfce's claim to fame is it's simplicity. And that is exactly why i
>      > decided to translate it. Let that simplicity be shared by the
>      > translators too.
>      >
>      > I hope I am not over stepping but I share my premature feeling
>     with the
>      > hope that it would encourage more participation and make good use
>     of the
>      > available resources.
>     Could you please tell us what you think could be organized better, or
>     explained better or done differently?
>     Personally I find the translator website very friendly and helpful
>     and people like Maximilian are doing an awesome job coordinating
>     translations and helping out translators.
> Probably that is true for the technically adept person but translation 
> does not require one to be a linux guru.
> I will take an example from 
> http://i18n.xfce.org/wiki/translation_guidance_in_xfce 
> <http://i18n.xfce.org/wiki/translation_guidance_in_xfce>
> To create the PO file for your language, simply type,
>     $ msginit
> This command assumes that the translator to be in the local of the 
> language to be translated. But the reality is a great deal of languages 
> do not have a well behaving stable local. 

That's a very good point, I guess. Would it be an idea to change the 
instruction to suggest translators for new translations to simply ask on 
this list for someone to create new, empty, po files? This instruction 
could be left as a second option.

Your main other point seems to be that SVN might be too hard for many 
translators.  Our translation coordinators, on the other hand, seem to 
strongly prefer the SVN method and we do need to make them happy, since 
developer time is a very limited resource.  I expect this is also an 
important difference compared to debian or mandriva: we probably have to 
make the procedures a bit more developer friendly.

Note that our translation coordinators already commit many translations 
for other people who send their files to the list, so that does work, 
but it's not the preferred method (Maximillian, please correct me if I'm 
wrong, here).

> Some might not have at all.
> I can not type properly a simple text in Amharic environment due to lack 
> of standard keyboard driver let alone execute commands successfully. 
> True one might succeed after spending a lot of time. But that requires 
> the translator to have an intimate knowledge of the environment.
> For example I am stuck now at creating the patch. diff as stands on the 
> instruction is not giving the expected result.
> In my view the instructions are designed to prevent the translators from 
> messing up the work of the developers. That It should do. But it tries 
> to protect the developers by putting a lot of burden on the translators. 
> That it should not be.
> How one designs a system that makes both sides happy is beyond my 
> expertise. But I like the debian practice very much. Po files are 
> created and maintained by the system administrators without any 
> intervention from the translators. There are one or two commiters which 
> are picked by the language team.
> Though it is good to test translations before submitting them not every 
> translator can do that because of the problems i explained above. 
> Basically what is done at debian is the system tests the committed file 
> and generates an error message to be corrected and sends it to the 
> commiter. I have encountered only once translating the debian installer, 
> that also after trasnlating more than 1000 strings.
> As though that is not enough the debian people are testing a pootle 
> server to enable any one with a key board, a monitor and an Internet 
> connection to translate.

I have a feeling that setting up a pootle server might put a higher 
burden on the system administrators, so it's up to them to decide if 
this is even an option. Also it should make things easier for everyone, 
not just the translators. It might be an interesting option, though.

> I do not know what it takes to do all the things above and make the job 
> of the translators easier at xfce. I would certainly not say that it is 
> intentional if it does not happen overnight.
> But when one says the documentation and instructions are easy and clear 
> I am reminded of the french princess:-)
> I apologise for rocking the boat.

Not at all. Thanks for the input. Let's see if we can improve the 
situation a bit for everyone involved.


More information about the Xfce-i18n mailing list