Localized help.ubuntu.com blueprint

Matthew East mdke at ubuntu.com
Sun May 9 14:14:32 BST 2010


Hi David,

2010/5/7 David Planella <david.planella at ubuntu.com>:

[ref] https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/community-m-localized-help-dot-ubuntu-dot-com

> I'd still like to discuss this at UDS, and I'd like to ask you to
> reconsider it being superseded and participate in the discussion, be it
> during the session, or afterwards on the mailing list (I'm fully aware
> that UDS being during the week and on work hours makes it impossible for
> everyone to participate). This is something the translations teams keep
> me asking every cycle: if help.ubuntu.com has got the infrastructure to
> support localization, why duplicate this for each LoCo?

I have no problem with a session at UDS to discuss this. I won't be
able to participate in the discussion because UDS falls during my
working day, but I am also happy to continue discussing it over email
and I agree that it can and should be a public discussion and on a
mailing list. I'm copying the ubuntu-doc and ubuntu-translators list
to this email.

I'll give you my views as they are at the moment. My main reasoning
not to support localisation on help.ubuntu.com is to promote
consistency and to avoid localised resources appearing in different
places, causing confusion for users.

The main Ubuntu website is not localised. As you know, we encourage
local teams to provide information about Ubuntu and resources on
specific websites, and for most languages such websites exist. Many,
many teams also provide support resources through that website by way
of forums and documentation. This means that users speaking different
languages can easily find information about Ubuntu in their language
in a dedicated website, which then becomes the home for Ubuntu
resources in a particular language (e.g. www.ubuntu-it.org,
forum.ubuntu-it.org, help.ubuntu-it.org, etc).

If we provided localised documentation on help.ubuntu.com, that would
mean fragmentation for localised resources, because some resources
would be on the specialised local team's website, and others on
help.ubuntu.com. I don't think that is in the users' interest. It also
means that the local teams wouldn't be able to customise the theme of
the online documentation. It would also be very difficult as far as I
can see to implement a system to make the header and footer of the
webpages automatically localisable through Rosetta.

Furthermore, there would be fragmentation within help.ubuntu.com
itself. The wiki area (at help.ubuntu.com/community) isn't translated,
and I think it would be strange to have translated material in one
part of the website, and not in another.

As you know, Chris is developing a system which will provide a banner
which offers to guide users towards localised websites when they
arrive at www.ubuntu.com. I don't see any reason why a similar system
couldn't be put in place for help.ubuntu.com too.

In summary: I would encourage all translators and local teams to
develop a documentation area within their existing localised websites.
It's very easy to produce a localised version of help.ubuntu.com and I
would be happy to work on improving the instructions for doing it
(https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DocumentationTeam/SystemDocumentation/BuildingDocumentation).
Equally, I will merge any patches into the ubuntu-doc branch which
make the process easier for local teams.

If other people, particularly those working on local websites, have
different views, I'm very open to hearing them.

-- 
Matthew East
http://www.mdke.org
gnupg pub 1024D/0E6B06FF



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