Request for Docs Freeze Extension for ubuntu-docs

David Planella david.planella at
Wed Mar 21 08:37:13 UTC 2012

Al 21/03/12 03:43, En/na Jeremy Bicha ha escrit:
> Hi,
> The Documentation String Freeze is scheduled for Thursday, but the
> Ubuntu system docs won't be ready by then. The docs are reasonably
> accurate (mostly thanks to all the work done upstream by the GNOME
> Docs Team and periodic merges back to Ubuntu), but the documentation
> on Unity is pretty incomplete, especially as compared to the thorough
> documentation of System Settings (at least GNOME's version of System
> Settings).
> You can see the current state of our documentation by running
> bzr branch lp:ubuntu-docs
> cd ubuntu-docs/ubuntu-help/C
> yelp .

Thanks a lot Jeremy and to everyone else in the docs team for your work.

> Today I sat down to update the screenshots. I became understandably
> annoyed when I realized that almost a month after User Interface
> Freeze, the default wallpaper has not landed. Since the screenshots
> that we use help to frame the text, it's more difficult for the
> documenters to do our job. And it's not like generating the wallpaper
> should be difficult as it's going to just be an evolution of the last
> 3 wallpapers, right?

I'm not sure if there is an owner for ensuring that the wallpaper lands
on time, or whether it is subject to UI Freeze (I would suspect it is).
In any case, I'll leave it up to the release team to comment on the
status of the wallpaper, and to see if in future releases we can better
ensure it lands by UI freeze.

> I was a bit surprised to see that ubuntu-docs and kubuntu-docs are
> listed on .
> It doesn't seem right to give the translators less time to translate
> stuff that will be changing until the last possible minute especially
> since Ubuntu has complete control over the packaging for these. Is
> that page still up-to-date?

The page is up to date. I'm not sure I quite follow the part about stuff
changing at the last minute. There is a clear deadline (docs string
freeze) after which (barring freeze exceptions) translators know the
text is frozen and can start doing their work safely.

There is also a clear deadline (NonLanguagePackTranslationDeadline)
where they know translations should be finished.

> It's important that we first understand
> how long translators have 

Looking at the release schedule, they've got 2 weeks and 2 days to
translate Ubuntu documentation:

It's a tight schedule, but the idea is to leave documenters as much time
as possible to do their work after UI freeze.

> before answering my other question: How much
> additional time can we have to improve the Unity documentation?

Technically, and if the docs team would commit to fetch translations
from Launchpad and do an upload with those translations by
LanguagePackDeadline, that'd give both translators and documenters extra

However, it is up to the release team to grant that exception. I
personally think that given the current situation it might be the best

I realize documentation is volunteer work, and you guys are awesome at
producing high quality docs for Ubuntu. At the same time, though,
everyone should realize that changes in the schedule affect other
volunteer contributors, and while it's perfectly ok not to be able to
finish a task, we should expect to do it gracefully, i.e. letting
everyone affected know well in advance, if at all possible.

As I've said on other occasions, this is not meant to point fingers at
anyone, rather as an opportunity to learn for the future, and to work on
a solution for now.

Jeremy, I see that the release team is CC'd, but do you think you could
ensure to follow up with them (e.g. making sure it's on the agenda for
their next meeting) and let us know about the outcome?

> If we can get an extra week or so, I can put out a blog post on the
> planet and ask for help from the Community. I apologize for not having
> done this a few weeks ago.
> As far as Ubuntu docs is concerned, I think we can go into soft freeze
> except for the Unity pages and I'd also like to request the option of
> documenting Ubuntu additions to System Settings.
> Finally, I've never understand what's possible for Docs in Stable
> Release Updates. Can I add new strings, such as if we wanted to write
> help for Update Manager? Or are we stuck until the next release? If
> so, we are at a significant disadvantage compared to GNOME which
> unthaws the freeze for their User Guide for a period of time after
> each point release (GNOME String Freeze excludes documentation).
> Certain issues (such as will be found in Canonical's new user testing)
> won't be known at Documentation String Freeze.

I'd personally welcome any post release docs upgrade (again, subject to
confirmation with the release team), but ensuring that:

- Changes are properly communicated, so that there is time to translate them
- Changes are synced with language pack updates

> Also, I've focused this email on ubuntu-docs. How are other docs teams
> doing, like Server or Kubuntu?
> Thanks,
> Jeremy

David Planella
Ubuntu Translations Coordinator / /

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