Some thoughts about Rosetta

Dominik Zablotny doza at
Thu Jun 29 04:38:29 BST 2006

Due to recent discussions about translations quality, I wonder why
Rosetta have only web interface? It is good to just enter 10 strings,
commit & forget, but when it comes to quality, you more often need to
search specific string or translation, query for history and authors,
perform search&replace, try out fresh translation immediately etc.
I was following discussions in other translators teams (Gnome, XFCE) and
it looks like inconvenient web interface is the main reason why they
don't consider moving their work to Rosetta. 

I think implementing needed features would be easier if Rosetta had
generic protocol that would allow to use standalone, user-friendly
client, like POEdit/KBabel with dedicated extension or some new
application. Well, we already often do it through .po export/import,
but I think it could be automated.

Potential advantages:

* better comfort - look&feel, responsiveness, custom font etc.
* trivial integration of checking/highlighting spell (grammar?) mistakes
* easier to add real-time checking for obvious errors, like broken
  format strings or whitespace at the ends
* easier implementation of search, replace etc. within template
* enabled browsing of whole template while translating a string
* easier adding of team-specific dictionaries, plug-ins
* testing some of templates with single click, by launching application
  with updated .mo or regenerating documentation
* minimized transfer, enabled comfortable work on poor connection
  or partially offline (important for developing countries)
* more functionality moved outside Rosetta that could be done
  by volunteers, while keeping data access controlled by Canonical
* some operations, like searches or matching similar strings, could be
  done on client side, resulting in lower server load


* need to assure proper rights management on server side and provide
  remote database connection or other protocol
* work needed on client application
* limited complexity of client - some administrative tasks should be
  done only through web
* need to synchronize "translation memory" for given language with
  client from time to time, if it's going to be moved there
* web-based applications are more trendy atm ;)

What do you think about this idea?

Dominik Zablotny
xmpp:doza at

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