Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-translation (237 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-translation] openSUSE Weblate
Hi Andrea,

Not going to do inline responses, but I do want to address a few of
your points bundled together

On 17 October 2015 at 09:14, Andrea Turrini <andrea.turrini@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Or is the mantra applicable only to those that code/develop/put packages
together?

Has someone asked comments from translators about possible issues with
the new Leap?

If Tumbleweed/Leap are distributed not translated, is
it my fault?

These questions which you pose actually do a good job of highlighting
the problem which I'm trying to address with my responses to date.

There are a number of people who consider themselves part of the
'Translation team' who have a mindset similar to yours and Carlos

I normally refer to this problematic mindset with the shorthand of 'us
vs them', but your examples give me a lead into explaining it in
slightly different terms

You have a mindset of dependency. You are doing 'your bit' of the
translation, then 'throw it over the wall' to 'the others' and expect
them to do what you want with it.

This kind of 'throw it over the wall' dependent behaviour is very dysfunctional.
From time to time it occurs in all parts of projects like ours, so
it's not a 'technical vs non-technical contributor' thing.
We actually have very strong examples of non technical contributors,
marketeers, designers, ambassadors, TSP, who really follow the
behaviour that 'those who do, decides' is meant to engender.

The mantra of 'those who do, decide' is meant to encourage a feeling
of responsibility and ownership for those people who are addressing
those issues which they want to take care of
If it's broken, they fix it
If it needs doing, they do it
If it needs someone else to help, they work together.

This entire mindset of "We're translators, we're just going to do our
thing our way, and the entire project has to accept it" (with the
implicit threat of "or else we won't translate anything") is not
conductive for a collaborative volunteer community

With that mindset, sure, you are 'doing' your little part of the big
picture, and sure, you get to 'decide' how you do that..but if you
want to fence yourself off from the rest of the project, if you want
to ignore that the Project is now focused on rolling release and
hybrid release, both of which means translations have to be handled
differently, you cannot be surprised when 'they' (the rest of the
Project) go and 'do and decide' something else.

So yes, if you subscribe to this 'us and them' mindset and call
yourself a Translator, when I look at Tumbleweed and Leap and see the
state of the Translations there, yes, I think you are at least
partially responsible for the current situation.
And I think that you should be responsible for the solution, even if,
especially if, that means you, as someone who clearly cares about
Translations, need to learn new things, speak to new people, establish
new processes, use new tools, to fix those new problems

Sitting on your hands expecting the Project to conform to processes
which have been struggling for years, and are now downright broken,
isn't realistic.

Your ideal world: translators agree with everything devs propose. Devs don't
need input from translators because they know what it is the best for devs
(granted) and translators (not granted at all). This is a very fair ideal
world, isn't it?

My ideal world is one in which the translators in my project stop
thinking in terms like 'Dev' and 'Translator', and instead realise
that they're all contributors and that the best way of working
together is by mixing things up and getting down and dirty with
finding the solutions as a team. No more walls created by processes
which are being rigidly adhered to even when the outputs are
categorically proven to be insufficient.

My ideal world is one in which the people who currently consider
themselves 'Translators' are no longer saying 'we can't do that
because...' and instead learning the skills, which in this case
includes both communication and technical skills, to be more
independent, to be less reliant on others to see their translations be
part of the Project.

I'd also say my ideal world would include the people you consider to
be 'Devs' to try and make steps from the other direction, and try to
learn the skills, provide tooling, and start contributing back to the
'Translators'..but, well that's exactly what is already happening,
that's how we got to this conversation, people who previously had
nothing to do with Translations seeing a problem which affected the
Project as a whole and, instead of ranting on mailinglists, making
actual practical attempts to step up to fix it. So yes, I'm actually
quite happy to see steps towards my ideal world.

That said, I do not give the Weblate team a pass for failing to
communicate effectively before their work became apparent, but I have
nothing but praise for their communication since, and their mindset,
seeing a problem and trying their best to fix it, and not avoiding the
problem with excuses like "we're not translators" or "this idea goes
against established processes"

And one final thought on the matter of 'respect'

I respect all of the work that all of our Translators have done in the
past and in previous releases. It has helped openSUSE be established
as a distribution that is known for it's very broad localisation,
which is a very important thing for wide scale adoption around the
world

But when the mindset of some of our translation team is as I've
described above, resistant to change, 'us vs them', and quite happy
with the concept of living behind a wall and throwing contributions
over it every now and again, that respect is eroded.

But to be totally blunt, I'd actually look totally past that, if the
_output_ of the translation team was effective. If we had half-decent
translations of our two distributions, Tumbleweed or Leap, I'd be
happy, because ultimately I care more about the actual results from
contributions more than I worry about the mindset and method taken to
get those results (ie. If it works, sure, I'll take it)

But, those of you who have that mindset, do not have the results to
back it up. And so, yes, it's a sad but honest fact that my respect
for those who carry that mindset is decreasing. And it will continue
to be as long as that mindset, and the behaviour it engenders
continues.

So please, take a step back, and (to blatantly butcher a great man's
words), ask not what your Project should do for you, ask what you
should do for your Project.
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