Consolidating the various freezes

Soren Hansen soren at
Sat Sep 15 12:45:56 BST 2007

On Fri, Sep 14, 2007 at 12:19:07PM -0700, Jordan Mantha wrote:
> For translating the official Ubuntu documentation (what's shipped in
> the *buntu-docs packages) I can't see that behavior as acceptable.
> They are no longer translating the documentation but creating new
> material. As I said before, that's fine if they do it outside of the
> translations, but it isn't translation.

I belive their task is to create good documentation in their native
language even if it means diverging (to whatever degree they see fit)
from the original English documentation, while you think they should do
strict translation to earn their title of "translator".  Is that about

> > [1]: calling the translators kind of gets in the way of my point :)
> But that's what they are, I don't think you can neglect that. They are
> translation teams, they should be translating.

"TranslationTeam" is a bit easier on the eyes than
"LocalizedDocumentationTeam". It's not exactly set in stone that they
must be called translators. We (the entire Ubuntu project including the
TranslationTeams) could easily decide that they should from now on be
referred to as LocalizedDocumentationTeams. The terminology was chosen
to reflect reality, not the other way around.

In the real world, though, I'm beginning to realise that redefining
their task wouldn't really change much (if anything at all).  Still,
that wasn't my point to begin with. I was just trying to express my
suprise that you stopped working at some point to let the translators
start, since I believed that you ought to be able to work in parallel. I
still think that's the case, but I now better realise the technical
reasons why it's not very easy to do so right now.

>> Oh, you use Rosetta for documentation, too? I did not know that.
>> That changes everything. :)  Because then you are back to the
>> technical limitations that we have in programs where even a corrected
>> spelling mistake causes work for translators.
> Yes, we write the docs, then put up .pots on Rosetta for translation.
> Then we gather the translated material and ship that in *buntu-docs.

I see. I'm not sure what I expected exactly, but something about the
translation teams sort of monitored the changes you did in your vcs
(IIRC you still use SVN?) and did the same changes in their localized
documentation. That would allow you to keep working right up until a few
day before release, and also allow the translators to work completely in
parallel with you.  I've never done a lot of translation and the tiny
bit I've done was of programs rather than documentation, so it's very
likely that I'm missing something, but it seems to me that with the
right tools and a change in workflow, you'd be able to pull it off.

Soren Hansen
Ubuntu Server Team
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