HEADS-UP! URGENT! Major problem with translations for Hardy and Intrepid.

Milan Bouchet-Valat nalimilan at club.fr
Sat Jan 17 13:18:19 GMT 2009

Hi !

Wouldn't you mind giving us more details about the situation you
describe and its causes? You're suddenly coming and telling us that
everything is going to collapse and that we need to solve this horrible
list of bugs ASAP, without even explaining anything about it.

>From what I've read and seen in the strings list, we're not in such an
emergency. Sure, some strings are not correct and can lead to crashes if
% jokers are present when they shouldn't. But this seems to have been
the case since the release of Hardy and Intrepid, so no need to stress
the teams like that. I really can't see your case here: what's new in
Hardy and Intrepid that can break anything? Where does those new strings
come from, and why can't they be reverted?

Anyway, I think I'd express quite accurately the feeling of many l10n
teams members if I say we're somewhat tired of those problems. Rosetta
has allowed people to fork upstream translations when we should only
have changed Ubuntu-specific strings. This leads to a terrible mess
where small teams have to manage a dramatically large textual domain
that they can't really master. Upstream translators work far better than
we can do on their projects, and avoid the kind of trouble we're now
facing: downstream-modified strings that don't get fixed when upstream
updates them. We really need a solution here, like locking translations
for packages that belong to upstream.

I'm sorry if this complaint sounds rude, but the tone of your message
and your way of presenting things isn't fair either. We're mostly
benevolent people here, and we suffer all the time from Launchpad's
framwerok problems I've just described. We're not here only to obey
Canonical, and I think we deserve more than orders like "please report
back". I appreciate your work on Ubuntu l10n, but please also understand
ours. We need to understand what can be done in the future to avoid this
kind of mess rather than blindly fixing things, waiting for new bugs to

I hope this can clarify things, and explain the problems we'll be facing
when trying to improve things.

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