Ensuring Quality in Ubuntu Translations

Milo Casagrande milo_casagrande at yahoo.it
Tue Oct 31 21:16:56 GMT 2006

Il giorno mar, 31/10/2006 alle 21.06 +0100, Carlos Perelló Marín ha
> Hi,


> Well, initially, Rosetta was designed to use teams in a really different
> way we are using them atm. The concept of an Ubuntu translation team as
> we have atm is just a QA team. That means that, only the members of that
> team would be able to change translations for Ubuntu and any other
> member would add suggestions but they wouldn't change anything.
> The problems I think that produced current situation are:
> - Our reviewing tools are reduced or unimplemented.
> - Our UI is not stating anytime that those teams are supposed to be QA
> teams.
> - Our documentation is not saying anything about the QA concept either.
> I want to improve this situation and, with our current usage of Rosetta,
> I know that people needs the concept of 'team' to know the list of
> persons that are translated for a given distribution/project/product and
> language.
> There are several solutions in my mind:
> - Create two teams, ubuntu-l10n-XX (current ones) and ubuntu-l10n-XX-QA
> and give control over Ubuntu translations to the QA teams and thus, all
> members of current teams will lose their rights to modify translations
> directly, they will add suggestions as any other non member would be
> able to do.

I think this would be nice for big teams, more than 30-40 translators,
so they will get at least 10 QA guys, but for small team, 10-20
translators, they will get maybe 5 QA guys with a lot of work to do on
different translations (it's not easy to translate a software you don't
know or at least use). Or we would have the same problem: giving people
with poor technical skill QA control to help translate, in order to have
the system translated.

> - Create two teams too, but modify our permission system so we only
> accept suggestions from current ubuntu-l10n-XX teams so you need to join
> that team to be able to add suggestions. The QA teams are the only ones
> that will be able to change translations.

I don't really get it... it looks similar to the above to me...

> > = Translation Teams =
> > 
> > The basic starting point is that a central part of the Ubuntu
> > philosophy[1] is that software should be available to all in their local
> > language.
> > 
> > [1] http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/philosophy
> > 
> > In order to achieve this, Ubuntu has given a lot of authority (and
> > responsibility) to the various translation teams that exist in
> > Launchpad[2]: these teams are responsible for what the operating system
> > looks like, because the translations which they enter in Rosetta will
> > eventually go into the operating system.
> > 
> > [2] https://launchpad.net/people/?name=ubuntu-l10n&searchfor=teamsonly
> > 
> > This is a lot of responsibility for the translation teams. It is clear
> > that randomly accepting any new member to a team can result in bad
> > translations. It seems that in the case of the Dutch team it has had
> > really bad consequences. I refuse to believe that this problem doesn't
> > exist elsewhere. For example, the Ubuntu French translation team has 250
> > members (and 1 administrator to approve/disprove new candidates!!), the
> > German team 86, the Brazilian team 78, etc. It's difficult to imagine
> > that these members have all been through some kind of quality assurance.
> Agreed.

Agree, but I think it depends also on how Administrators handle this. 

> > Upstream translators on the other hand _do_ go through rigorous quality
> > assurance. Translations are uploaded to (e.g. GNOME) CVS if the
> > translator is already well known for good quality translation, or
> > alternatively if the individual translation is checked first.

For the italian upstream team (I'm part of it) it works like this:
- I ask if the package I want to translate is free and then I start to
translate it
- When I'm done, I send the po to the ML for revision by all translators
- I apply the changes
- Then I send the po for CVS uplaod to the italian administrator, who
does it (or you can go directly with the developers)

I only know two intalian people with CVS rights that aren't developers!
> > = Rosetta =
> > 
> > There are lots of ways in which Rosetta can and should help this QA
> > process, in my opinion. They are all fairly well known bugs, I think.
> > But they are important ones.
> > 
> > The first is technical. It is not nearly as easy to check a proposed
> > member's translations as it should be. This is a oft-cited bug in
> > Rosetta. It should be possible to go to a person's profile, and view
> > each suggestion that person has made for a translation. At the moment,
> > it is only possible to view which template the person has contributed
> > to, and then you have to go through all the untranslated strings for
> > that template, and look for the person's name. Not very convenient.
> Hmm, We are preparing that page to link with pofiles instead of just
> potemplates but I guess we could prepare something like what you
> describe.
> Filed as https://launchpad.net/products/rosetta/+bug/69563

That would be great!
It's time consuming going through the entire translation only to search
for a couple of strings!
> > The second is technical too. You can't search a package for a particular
> > string, which means that if you see a bad translation, it's harder to
> > fix. Worse than that, once a translation is committed, there is no
> > obvious way of seeing who committed the translation, so people who are
> > not following guidelines cannot be approached to discuss the problem.
> > 
> The search feature is already in danilo's queue and will be started once
> he finish native OO.org support.

I'm waiting for it! :)
Sometimes, when I find errors, I download the po, correct it and then
upload it!

> > The fourth is purely social. The main reason that translation groups
> > don't do QA is that they are not aware of this need. Given that Ubuntu
> > has given the translator groups this immense responsibility, it is their
> > duty (and by implication, that of Rosetta/Launchpad) to make them aware
> > of it. New teams and team owners/administrators should be made aware of
> > the importance of assuring quality translations in the distribution. The
> > other reason that Rosetta needs to take on this social task is that
> > Rosetta really does make translation very very easy indeed, which rocks.
> > However, it's vital to ensure that "easy" doesn't equate to "sloppy".
> I think this part would be solved by the Ubuntu Translation Coordinator
> position in Ubuntu. Once the designated person starts handling those
> tasks we would see what could we do in Rosetta to make his/her live
> easier.

I think also some guidelines (on the wiki or directly inside Launchpad)
would be very useful here. 

> > My conclusion is that Rosetta helps to go half way towards fulfilling
> > the promise in Ubuntu's philosophy of making the operating system
> > available to users in their local language. However, now for the hard
> > bit: making the operating system available to users in their local
> > language and _professional_ at the same time. In order to do this,
> > translation teams need to put quality assurance in place and Rosetta
> > needs to help them to do this.
> Agreed. We, Rosetta team, is trying to reach that point, it takes a lot
> of time to implement everything needed, but I think we are every day in
> a better position to reach that goal.
> Thanks for your input.

Thanks for the great work you're doing in Rosetta/Launchpad!


Milo Casagrande <milo_casagrande at yahoo.it>
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