Translation status for ubuntu-docs

Kenneth Nielsen k.nielsen81 at
Tue Apr 10 13:42:33 UTC 2012

Den 27-03-2012 11:44, Hannie Dumoleyn skrev:
> 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.

Unfortunately. As long as we just play along "make do with what we've 
got" and continue to contribute despite the obvious loss of work and the 
apparent disregard for volunteer contributor time, nothing will ever 
change (at least if the past 3 years are any indication).

Regards Kenneth

> 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

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