[Ubuntu-l10n-eng] Leaving for upstream (possibly)

Sridhar Dhanapalan sridhar at dhanapalan.com
Mon Sep 3 04:31:24 BST 2007

On Fri, 31 Aug 2007, Bruce Cowan <bruce.cowan at dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> I think I'll be leaving this team, not that I have done much work
> anyway.
> My main reason is the fact that all of this work is for Ubuntu, and for
> Ubuntu only. I don't like that situation, and saying as en_GB in GNOME
> seems to be getting behind (95%), I will probably try to join them.

I can't say that I can blame you, Bruce. For over a year, we have been trying 
to pressure the Rosetta people to better integrate with upstream projects. I 
know that this is on their TODO list, but for whatever reason 
(priorities/resources/difficulty/complications/whatever) the improvements 
aren't happening fast enough.

Many translators are not very technically inclined, and Rosetta's gift to the 
community is that it makes translating simple for those who can't be bothered 
with technicalities like PO files. But if those translations can't be shared 
with upstream, their usefulness is greatly diminished.

It seems like whenever a major import is done, it overwrites some of our own 
translations, forcing us to reinstate the changes (and of course, we have the 
find the problems first). I might not be understanding the mechanism 
correctly, so someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

The strength of a translations project at the distribution level is that we 
can operate on a wide breadth of packages and projects at once. Working with 
GNOME only allows modifications to GNOME packages. Working with Ubuntu allows 
work to be done with GNOME, KDE, Xfce and so on. It also allows us to 
identify and address consistency issues across the applications. It is not 
uncommon to see the same element or concept named different things across 
projects. A distribution-level translation team can see this and smooth out 
the differences, making for a more consistent user experience.

What we have been weak on is pushing those modifications upstream. As has been 
already mentioned, Rosetta doesn't make this easy.

This is _not_ to say that we are ineffective as a team. What needs to be done 
is better communications with and submissions to upstream, even if it must be 
done manually at this point in time. Simultaneously, we need to keep up the 
pressure on the Rosetta folks so that they improve their upstream 
collaboration capabilities. If you're a coder, please pitch in and offer to 
help them to make this into a reality.

"This is the Microsoft that ran roughshod over competitors in order to gain 
market share at any cost. The Microsoft that forgot about customers in its 
blind zeal to harm competitors."
	- Paul Thurrott, WinSuperSite.com, 2006-04-19
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