Translators breaking documentation

Krzysztof Lichota krzysiek at
Fri Oct 13 18:01:24 BST 2006

Matthew East napisał(a):
> Hi there,
> I've just downloaded some translations of the desktopguide from the
> ubuntu-docs source package. I was extremely disappointed to find that
> the translations, almost without exception, introduce hundreds of errors
> into the xml. This means that I (and others) will need to spend several
> hours going through all of the xml to fix errors.
> I have posted guidelines about how to translate documentation on this
> list many times before, and I did so again when announcing translation
> in this release cycle. It boils down to one simple rule - don't play
> with the code!!! Specifically:

It is unrealistic. For all the documentation .po files I have received
from my translators, maybe once or twice it compiled right out of the
box. There must be someone (or something) verifying that documentation
builds before committing translation and current Rosetta setup just
doesn't work like that. It takes one unresponsible commit to break
compilation of the whole package.

> * Do not rearrange groups of tags - they will break!

Sometimes it is useful to add some contents.

> * Do not translate tags, or entities (such as &hello;)

In Polish we have to change entities, because phrases can have different
meaning when used in specific context.

> * To make sure you get the tags and code right - copy and paste it,
> don't copy it by eye, because you will make mistakes.

I encourage this to translators, but it happens someone accidentally
deletes one char. There are also problems with putting some chars
between tags, which DTD does not allow (for example in KDE, AFAIR,
between <guimenu> and <guimenuitem>).

> Team leaders - please ensure that when guidelines are posted to this
> list, they are actually conveyed to the translators, and that people are
> not translating documentation without having a good grasp of these basic
> guidelines.
> The use of Rosetta for documentation was never a perfect solution, and
> if we can't improve this situation, we may have to think about another
> system - such as asking translators to build the xml and check for
> errors before submitting it to the documentation team.

This is exactly what is adopted by KDE translations. Team coordinators
generate .docbook files from .po files and put it in repository.

	Krzysztof Lichota (Polish KDE translation coordinator)

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