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The Saturday 2007-12-08 at 21:42 +0100, Alberto Passalacqua wrote:
At the point where we are with translation management, we should really consider a tool to facilitate the work.
At the moment:
* we use SVN manually * we have a separate web page for statistics * we don't receive communications about changes in .po files * already translated files are altered during operations * we use mixed .po formats (not suse specific, but still a problem) * team management is completely left to personal communication
Simplifying the procedure is now a lot more important than before: now many languages have open translations, so translators are volunteers and not paid.
Case examples: not every body in the team has commit rights (they may even not want them), thus they send their translated .po files to somebody else who has to commit them. This is slow and needs more work; right now the Spanish team is finishing 10.3, so speed is not important, but when the time comes to translate trunk it will be.
Another problem is that the .po files should be updated now and then with possible new messages in the .pot files by running "make update-po". To do this I have to post in our private mail list a warning that in two days I'm going to do that, and please every body submit whatever files they have modified and halt work for a day. We can do this a Wednesday, but not a Friday, because the weekend is the productive translation time.
It would be better if some tool on the server made the update-po on each file submitted, in the same operation as the submission. Or something special to trigger it, dunno. We would still have to do the general update-po, but the impact would be lessened.
Another problem is that, in order to coordinate which person is translating which file, we use a special wiki page with a table listing every file, and where every body marks what files he/she has and is modifying, so that other translators pick different files, automatically. But this process is cumbersome and sometimes fails.
A shared worksheet would be faster, perhaps. Or something else.
Another problem we have is with large files, like update-desktop-files.es.po, which has 6000 messages, and we know for certain that many of them are badly translated. We could improve work if two or more people could work simultaneously on it, but I don't know how this could be done.
As a consequence, providing them proper and easy tools is essential not to waste their time as it happens often now (repeated translations of the exact same stuff), and to keep them motivated.
Dedication has nothing to do with solving issues not related to the work someone accepted (read .po formats, merging issues, sudden and continuous changes in .po...we discussed of these already). You may be dedicated, but if you see you're loosing too much time to do technical stuff not directly related to your real goal (translation in this case), your motivation goes down for sure.
To conclude, each improvement is welcome in my opinion in the translation process, which is now quite manual. The fact that a tool is free or open counts a lot less, if it is a good tool.
No, I prefer an open tool.
- -- Cheers, Carlos E. R.
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