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L10N tools: Increase quality of translations

Hi all.

Some members from the L10N project have identified some issues that need to be
solved to make sure the translations of Fedora are of high quality. Some of them
are infrastructure-related and at today's (-admin) meeting it was suggested to
transfer the discussion here.

I'm sure the folks at Red Hat are doing their best to keep the quality of the
translations high. But the truth is that Fedora's image in the context of
translations is not good; we do hear that a lot, from current and wanna-be
members. We can and should work to improve it. Semi-translated applications are
U-G-L-Y and shout "low QA" in our ears.

Some possible ideas have been listed on the following page:


Please feel free to chip in and help us out correct whatever doesn't seem
reasonable, break tasks into smaller tasks etc.

The bigger picture of some of these problems are:

  * L10N of "local" applications (those listed on [1]) is poor; releases and
package updates contain untranslated strings in many languages. This is
unacceptable for a fully-localized desktop.

  * The barrier to contribute to the l10n (be it GUI or Docs) is higher than it
should be (compared to other projects).

  * QA of the translations is difficult with the current tools.

Some more concrete ideas to discuss that might concern the InfrProj and the
RelEng team are:

  * Integrate better the handling of translation during a "local" package's
lifecycle. Have a flag raised for a package update that introduces new strings
so that translators can translate the new strings before the
repackaging/updating. Include in the schedule for each release a "string freeze
date" and a week later a "translation freeze date" and have all our packages
rebuilt after the latter and before the actual release.

  * Move po files on their own cvsroot on cvs.fedoraproject.org to reduce
complexity and maintenance and to increase security (with a new group).

  * Move the i18n status pages to Fedora servers (Plone/Turbogears?). Include a
direct link to the pofiles from there so that new members can have something to
work on before getting cvs access.

  * In the future, use Plone to automate the QA between team members (ie
coordinators can review translations etc).

  * Start working with the complex and tricky path to upstream translations that
no distribution has tackled yet in a successful way. Bring our translators
closer to the upstream projects.

Hope some of the above make sense. :)


[1]: http://i18n.redhat.com/cgi-bin/i18n-status

Dimitris Glezos
Jabber ID: glezos jabber org, GPG: 0xA5A04C3B

"He who gives up functionality for ease of use
loses both and deserves neither." (Anonymous)

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