Translation status for ubuntu-docs

David Planella david.planella at
Tue Apr 3 10:13:22 UTC 2012

Al 27/03/12 11:44, En/na Hannie Dumoleyn ha escrit:
> Op 26-03-12 17:10, Ask Hjorth Larsen schreef:
>> Dear translators and documentation people
>> On Mon, 26 Mar 2012, Timo Jyrinki wrote:
>>> 2012/3/26 Jeremy Bicha <jbicha at>:
>>>> I uploaded the potfile for ubuntu-docs tonight and opened up
>>>> translations on Launchpad for the precise branch.
>>> What about the ubuntu-docs under /ubuntu/precise/+source/ubuntu-docs -
>>> it'll be updated at the time of actual upload?
>>> For future, do you think that ubuntu-docs under the Ubuntu
>>> translations should simply be not visible until the final template is
>>> uploaded? Or this current system still better? I think one of the
>>> biggest invisible problems in Ubuntu translations making people go
>>> away (if they notice it) is the fact that work is wasted. Most of the
>>> people translating do not know that probably a lot of their
>>> translations will not be used if they've been translating ubuntu-docs
>>> in the last month or so, or even this coming week.
>>> This would not be such a big problem it is today without being
>>> combined with the lack of supporting fuzzy strings in LP. Then when
>>> the docs team do a cleanup of commas, articles or word orders (I'd
>>> assume there is always a bunch of those in addition to total
>>> rewrites), quality translations that would still have a lot value
>>> (either 100% match or something easily fixed to match the new form)
>>> are being lost. This is especially big problem in ubuntu-docs, since
>>> it has long strings, and a single small change anywhere will always
>>> reset a big amount of translated text compared to application UI texts
>>> that are usually much shorter.
>>> With the new precise ubuntu-docs template, I see that while the total
>>> number of strings have stayed roughly the same (+100 strings), the
>>> number of untranslated strings have raised from 358 to 1086. What I
>>> personally will do is:
>>> - now very quickly save the current Ubuntu precise's ubuntu-docs PO file
>>> - when the new ubuntu-docs gets to precise proper, fuzzy match the
>>> downloaded PO file to the new template manually with gettext tools
>>> - in case of simple word order / punctuation / etc changes simply
>>> unfuzzy or make a little fix in the translation
>>> - upload the new PO with "saved" translations back to Launchpad
>>> But I'd estimate that not many of the languages have the luck of
>>> someone doing this work. In the other language teams, there might be
>>> frustrated people noticing that the hard work they've done
>>> (translating ubuntu-docs is really hard work since there is so much of
>>> it) has for a part disappeared.
>>> Not that this would be a new problem of course, but what do you think
>>> about the template hiding idea or do you have any other ideas to help
>>> this problem (other than contributing to LP code)?
>>> -Timo
>> I apologize in advance for the considerable amount of grumbling below.
>> But I think we have big problems.
>> I think Launchpad should be entirely disabled for docs translations. 
>> The lack of fuzzy matching makes Launchpad almost useless for anything
>> but UI translations.  The alternative is to use e.g. a bzr archive to
>> maintain the translations.  This requires more technical knowledge,
>> but we (translations coordinators) can help individual translators
>> with it, and actually get the job done.  We are qualified to use tools
>> like bzr, msgmerge and other things to make sure that work is not
>> lost.  But right now I (as a coordinator) am quite powerless to stop
>> the waste of time. The only thing I can do is to not recommend that
>> people work on certain things.  I cannot even put a big red sticker on
>> the ubuntu docs page on Launchpad saying "don't translate this".  I
>> have only indirect means of communication (e-mails) around Launchpad. 
>> This makes everything very complicated and not something I look
>> forward to dealing with.
>> There is only one thing which is worse than not getting a voluntary
>> contribution due to it being too difficult, and that is to get the
>> contribution and then throw it away.  Because that contributor will
>> not come back.
>> I and others have previously requested fuzzy matching and some other
>> IMHO essential features on Launchpad, but there seems to be no plans
>> to implement any of it or even recognize the importance.
>> So please disable ubuntu docs in Launchpad.
>> Best regards
>> Ask
> Hello Ask,
> I fully understand your grumbling, but for the moment we have to make do
> with what we have.
> Because I firmly believe in the translation of Ubuntu Desktop Guide, I
> translated most of the Oneiric version on LP. And when I click F1 on my
> desktop (Oneiric), I am so proud to see that almost everything is in
> Dutch now.
> Regards,
> Hannie

Thanks Hannie for your feedback and your awesome work translating the
guide, that's the spirit!


David Planella
Ubuntu Translations Coordinator / /

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