Summary of the the discussions on documentation translation at UDS

David Planella david.planella at
Tue Dec 1 13:18:10 GMT 2009

Hi Matthew,

El dt 01 de 12 de 2009 a les 08:24 +0000, en/na Matthew East va
> Hi,
> 2009/11/30 David Planella <david.planella at>:
> > We talked to Jim Campbell and decided to move the xubuntu-docs
> > translations out of the Ubuntu distro series and to a separate project
> > in Launchpad.
> >
> > This is due to the fact that the xubuntu-docs package is no longer in
> > main, which is a requirement for translations to be there (and for
> > templates to be updated upon package upload).
> Is there any possibility of an exception to this requirement in
> Launchpad? Obviously the translations are still there, they are just
> not being updated, which seems a bit silly.

As far as I know, not without changes to the pkgbinarymangler package.
When packages are uploaded to the archive and these packages are in
main, their translations and templates are extracted and imported to
Launchpad by pkgbinarymangler [1].

(I'm CC'ing Martin as the maintainer of pkgbinarymangler, in case he
wants to comment on this. Martin: to give you some context this is about
the question whether -for the sake of consistency and visibility- it
would be possible to add an exception for xubuntu-docs in
pkgbinarymangler to have its translations stripped and imported into
Launchpad, even though it is a universe package.)

The main problem with xubuntu-docs being in universe is the update of
templates in Launchpad, which no longer happens automatically when
uploading a new package.

Now since the templates are already in Launchpad (from the time when
xubuntu-docs were in main), another alternative would be to manually
upload the templates whenever they change. This could be done by the
Rosetta admins or the members of the Ubuntu Translations Coordinators
team, but I think it wouldn't be too good to add an additional manual
step to the process. Still, I'd like to hear what the translations team
and the xubuntu-docs maintainers think of this.

> > The advantages in having translations in a separate branch will be
> > mainly for maintainers: they will no longer have to worry about updating
> > templates (they'll be updated in Launchpad upon commit) or exporting
> > translations (they will be automatically commited to a branch daily) -
> > this functionality is not yet available in source packages.
> >
> > The only disadvantage will be that the translations will not have as
> > much visibility as they had inside the Ubuntu distro series in Launchpad
> > before.
> This seems to me to be quite a prominent disadvantage. Equally, from
> translators' point of view, I think that it's very confusing to have
> translations in different places and to have to look outside the
> Ubuntu distribution in order to translate Ubuntu native source
> packages.

It is, but in the particular case of Xubuntu none of its packages can be
translated in the Ubuntu distribution in Launchpad. Ideally, all
packages regardless of the repository they are in should be translatable
there. In fact, we also talked about whether we should consider enabling
universe translations at UDS, but we decided to defer the discussion
until Lucid + 1, as there should be a proper spec for this and as it
would be interesting to see how the upstream integration in Launchpad
Translations shapes up first.

>  It's the same with other native Ubuntu projects - there
> doesn't seem to be any consistent rule about whether such projects
> should be translated as upstream projects or source packages.

I also acknowledge that, but with the current functionality this is left
to the maintainer: some enable only translations for the Ubuntu source
package and consistently export and commit those in the Launchpad
project, whereas others have translations enabled both in the project
and in the Ubuntu source package. In this latter case often translators
translate it in one of the two places and make use of global suggestions
to translate it in the other, or export and upload the PO file there.
This obviously requires extra work. Message sharing between projects and
source packages might solve this in the future - the Rosetta developers
can tell more on if and when this will be implemented.

> Having said that, it's the translators who should take a decision
> about this. The only thing that concerns me from a documentation team
> point of view is consistency: I'm not very happy about a different
> approach being taken to xubuntu-docs as to ubuntu-docs, kubuntu-docs
> and edubuntu-docs. I think that we should standardise on a particular
> approach, and adopt it.

It's the current infrastructure which limits us here, due to the fact
that xubuntu-docs is in universe and the way universe translations are
handled. I'd be happy to reconsider the move to a separate project if
there is a viable alternative to upload new xubuntu-docs templates in
Launchpad, so I propose to wait until next week for more feedback before
making the final decision.

>  When I last asked about whether it would be
> appropriate to move ubuntu-docs translation to a Launchpad project to
> take advantage of the automatic import/export features, from memory I
> recall that the answer was "no" because of the confusion caused by
> having translations in different places in Launchpad.
> (Incidentally, it seems to me that if translation moves to the project
> space rather than the package space, renaming the templates is no
> longer necessary.)

Yes, I think with the current infrastructure it still makes sense to
have edu/k/ubuntu-docs in the source package translation space.



David Planella
Ubuntu Translations Coordinator

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