Clean Sheet?

Jonathon Blake jonathon.blake at
Wed Jan 12 14:07:46 CST 2005

Mark wrote:

> > Not if we can help it :-)

BTW, where can I download the source code for Rosetta from?

> > as well as translations from any other sources we can find in a consistent programmatic fashion.


Peter wrote:

> what should a wannabe translator do?

> it will be a royal mess!

The current situation is a mess.

L10N projects have no idea what other L10N projects are doing --- if
they are even aware of the existence of other L10N projects.

One L10N project seriously proposed writing tools from scratch, to
assist in translation projects.  They had no idea that tools such as
Po, or OmegaT, or DVX even existed.

With some co-ordinated activism within the various L10N, i18N , and
G12N groups,  new L10N projects/groups can learn from the experience
of other groups about what works, and what does not work.  And
consequently reduce the amount of time required for translating and
localizing the software, and related documentation.

> Translations via Rosetta should be encouraged by software maintainers

What is in it for the software maintainers, to encourage Rosetta based
translations?  Especially when they deem their existing L10N tools

The biggest enemy of "excellent", is "good enough".

>however if let's say GNOME's maintainers say something like "we don't
want Rosetta"

For software projects that have not yet established a formal L10N
policy/procedure, then a web based approach _probably_ will be

For software projects that have large, pre-existing L10N projects, and
active support for them, convincing them to switch to any web based
translation tool is going to be problematic --- especially when they
can incorporate the web based translation toolkit into their existing
L10N support.  [Assuming that the web based translation tools are
distributed under a FLOSS licence, and is also available.]

If Rosetta, or Poodle or any of the other web based translation tools
gets directly incorporated into a projects website,  translations can
be added into the cvs more or less on a real time basis.  [Spend an
hour translating strings for the project, save it, and viola, it is in
the cvs, and the next build incorporates the translated strings. (Yes,
I am talking about a hypothetical ideal, where the user does
everything whilst connected to the web.)]

>is a BIG chance that GNOME's translators will never touch Rosetta and
it will be rather hard to find translators willing to take on such a

Rosetta, Poodle, and similar web based tools do offer
maintainers/developers of projects that currently have no existing
L10N program some tremendous advantages. Those are the projects that
web based translation tools can target.

 >However if GNOME's maintainers say something like "all translations
must be ported to Rosetta by next release" you've got the exact
opposite situation...

Why should Gnome, or KDE, or any other similar project insist that all
translations may only come from Rosetta?  Especially if they can add a
web based translation tool similar to Rosetta to their existing web
based support package for L10N projects?


Monolingualism is a curable disease.
                               Carlos Fuentes

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