ubiquity-slideshow-ubuntu: contemplating some string changes

David Planella david.planella at ubuntu.com
Fri Mar 26 09:53:02 GMT 2010

Hi Khaled,

El Fr 26 de 03 de 2010 a les 00:00 +0200, en/na Khaled Hosny va
> On Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 12:02:51PM +0200, Timo Jyrinki wrote:
> > 2010/3/24 David Planella <david.planella at ubuntu.com>:
> > > It would be interesting to hear what other teams say, especially those
> > > who have already completed translations.
> > 
> > +1 otherwise, but in these kind of "small changes in original strings"
> > situations I'd prefer some place the current translations would be
> > kept. There is effort put to those, and if eg. the English string has
> > one word changed, the high quality translation should not be lost by
> > forcing all translators to think about the new string from a fresh
> > start.
> > 
> > Earlier with the first lucid changes the complete, well thought
> > Finnish translation from karmic was lost when small things were
> > changed in the English strings. I then inspected string by string the
> > template in karmic, compared the strings to lucid's English strings,
> > took the karmic's translation to the lucid template and modified it
> > only according to the changes in the English string. Ideally of course
> > Launchpad itself would show the change history of the original string
> > and the translated string in an intuitive way.
> > 
> > I would otherwise download the current PO to be looked as a reference
> > for the new strings when they come, but I'm currently getting
> > "Unexpected form data" when trying to export in both edge and non-edge
> > launchpad. Please don't update the templates at least until you have
> > all PO:s downloaded somewhere :)
> This issue is actually getting more an more annoying, just because
> launchpad were developed by the most l10n ignorant developers on the
> planet,

While I understand your frustration and I acknowledge the problem, I
also want to make clear that addressing other people with such strong
words is completely out of order here, and I would ask you to be
respectful with other members on this list.

We want to work together, be considerate and discuss things when we
disagree, which is why we've got the Code of Conduct [1] in Ubuntu.

Working closely with them every day, I can assure you that the Launchpad
Translations developers are very good at what they do, and I really
wished everyone could see how hard they work and the careful planning
they put when developing features.

Launchpad is a huge beast, and an online application too, in which many
of the aspects in traditional desktop application development do not
apply, and such things as the balance on performance, usability and
features have a much higher impact. This is only to say that adding new
features or implementing them in a way to achieve the optimal balance is
hard, and it does take time.

Fortunately, though, things have changed since Launchpad was open
sourced. We are getting more and more community contributions, which are
a huge help in making Launchpad better. If you have a look at the
contributions page, you'll see them:


You'll also see our very own translations rockstar Adi Roiban at the
top, fixing bugs and even working on new features :)

Just to finish on that, the other thing to have into account is that the
Translations component in Launchpad was developed with people with a
deep knowledge on localization, who had also been historical
contributors to the GNOME localization infrastructure or development. In
the original Rosetta team you would find names such as Dafydd Harries or
Jordi Mallach (*), and most importantly the current team lead, Danilo
Šegan, the original developer of damned-lies at l10n.gnome.org,
developer of xml2po, co-maintainer of intltool and Serbian translator.

Just to put names to faces, the current Launchpad Translations team are:

      * Danilo Šegan: https://launchpad.net/~danilo
      * Henning Eggers: https://launchpad.net/~henninge
      * Jeroen Vermeulen: https://launchpad.net/~jtv
      * Ursula Junque: https://launchpad.net/~ursinha

They are also in regular touch with the community: they are on this list
and attend UDS, where they are always happy to discuss things face to
face with participants.

All that put aside, let's now get on to discussing the technical issue.

>  we, free Ubuntu translators, are punished every time one fixes a
> typo or an idiotic wording to redo our translation from scratch, even if
> the translation need not any update! What I can't really understand how
> a very simple and basic feature like marking old translation as fuzzy
> when merging new templates doesn't yet exist! some thing that gettext
> tools had years before my birth.

This feature was actually present not so long ago. At some point, for
reasons of performance and the fact that fuzzy matching is not always
perfect, the fuzzy translations were dropped when importing messages
into Launchpad.

The long term solution is to provide better matching in Launchpad, but
this will still take time and the current focus of development is better
upstream integration, which does not contemplate this particular problem
right now. In any case, I'd like to encourage you to file a bug on this
to help developers keep track of this task and perhaps offer an
alternative solution.


I'd also encourage you to e-mail me personally to further discuss this

Note that I'm not trying to play this down. I acknowledge that this is
an important problem, but I also want to set expectations and let
everyone know about the work involved and the current focus of Launchpad
development. You can also see more details here:


I'm not on the Launchpad team, so I cannot commit to fixing this
particular issue, but I'm keen to ensure that your views are clearly
communicated to them.

> I'm really annoyed by this, my time is more valuable to waste it redoing
> translations over and over again. The fact that launchpad is annoying me
> more and more every day, that I might just abandon doing any Ubuntu
> translation and save my valuable time to something else.

I'm sorry to hear that, especially as your contributions on this list
and your expertise have always been very valuable as far back as I can

I hope my reply can help in providing some more insight on this, and
Gabor's tip a good workaround for this particular issue, so that we can
keep you with us for a long time :-).


[1] http://www.ubuntu.com/community/conduct

(*) without forgetting Carlos Perelló and perhaps many others, but I was
not there at the time to properly credit them all.

David Planella
Ubuntu Translations Coordinator

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