Hosting Rosetta

Thomas Mills Hinkle tmhinkle at
Sun Jun 12 09:58:30 CDT 2005

On 6/12/05, Steve Alexander <steve at> wrote:
> > Can I get Rosetta easily setup on a linux server ?  a URL to
> > this how would be great.
> Hosting your own Rosetta server is not possible today.
> In the Rosetta FAQ, there is the question and answer
>   Is Rosetta Open/Free Software?
>   No, Rosetta is not Open or Free Software at the moment.
>   Rosetta will probably become open source somewhere in
>   the future but we don't have a date.

I've hesitated to ask this since it is partly answered in the F.A.Q.,
but the emergence of this thread piques my curiosity again, so here
goes: is the rationale for not making this open source explained
anywhere? If not, could someone explain it?

When I first moved my project's translations to rosetta, I assumed it
was open source because it was linked to from ubuntu and because
canonical explictly states that it is "committed to the development,
distribution and promotion of open source software products, and to
providing tools and support to the open source community."  Rosetta
currently falls in line with the latter goal but not the former.

Anyway, the FAQ clearly explains that rosetta is not open source, so I
can't complain about the "tricked" feeling I had when I realized I'd
unintentionally moved part of my development cycle to closed-source
tools. But I would still like to know why.

Wouldn't we all (we being rosetta-users) benefit if Anmar's company
installed their own rosetta and began creating patches to improve it?
And wouldn't it have been nice if I could have scratched my own itch
to have a more efficient PO-export system for developers by hacking
rosetta source rather than by creating a web scraper (which I've
already had to patch once in response to superficial changes in the
website -- such is the nature of scraping)?

Sorry to sound grumpy -- I really do like rosetta and I also have
faith that you all at canonical are smart people with pure hearts who
are more than familiar with the pro-open-the-source arguments above.
That said, I'm still in the dark as to how that presumed intelligence
and pure-heartedness resulted in this decision: is there any chance
you could explain the rationale in the FAQ? I'm sure I'm not the only
one with questions.


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