Czech translations and Google Code-in 2011

This year, the GNOME Czech Translation Team officially participates in the Google Code-in program for pre-university students ages 13-18. I joined the GNOME mentors group and submitted four tasks so that students can help our team with updating GNOME 3.4 translations for gnome-system-monitor and seahorse’s UI, and brasero and file-roller’s documentation.

The full announcement in Czech was posted to the Czech translation team mailing list.

Great news is that one of the tasks has been already claimed by a student. But if you know anybody interested and suitable to participate in the program, or if you’re a Czech-speaking student yourself, don’t hesitate and claim your task today! Just keep in mind that all works stop on January 16, 2012.

From looking at the list of tasks submitted for the GNOME Project, it’s very pleasing to see that there are several GNOME translation teams also taking part in the program, besides other, perhaps more usual tasks oriented on coding, documentation, etc.

Big thanks goes to our Czech teammate André Klapper for providing me with some useful information and, above all, for coordinating the whole effort from the GNOME end.

And, obviously, big thanks to Google for organizing this program.

GNOME Localization Update for Q3 2011

During Q3, GNOME localization teams efforts were focused mainly on delivering translation support for the GNOME 3.2 release, which was shipped on September 28. In this release, there were more than 50 languages with at least 80 percent of strings translated, including the user and administration guides.

One of the participants in the GNOME Outreach Program for Women that took place from May 23 to August 22, Priscilla Mahlangu, completed the first localization intern in the history of the program after working on Zulu translations with Friedel Wolff as her mentor. As a result, she managed to improve Zulu localization from ca. 4 percent of translated strings to ca. 10 percent.

As the first team ever, the Spanish team was able to complete the translation of the official GIMP documentation, thanks to the work done by a Spanish translator, Ignacio AntI.

Thanks to the contributions from Claude Paroz and Gil Forcada, the GNOME localization platform Damned Lies, running on, saw a number of improvements in this quarter, including work on implementing support for word statistics.

GNOME Localization Update for Q2 2011

During Q2 2011 GNOME localization teams continued their work on adding and updating translations for the modules that are hosted at GNOME and make use of the GNOME i18n infrastructure.

Claude Paroz worked with Shaun McCance on a new help build system which is based on ITS Tool and is supposed to replace the currently used xml2po utility in the near future.

Furthermore, with the necessary support from the GNOME Documentation Project, GNOME translators started their work on translating the new GNOME User Documentation that was written in Mallard and is using the new help build system.

Also in this quarter, as part of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women internships, Priscilla Mahlangu began her work on the Zulu localization of the GNOME Desktop with Friedel Wolff as her mentor.

GNOME Localization Update for Q1 2011

During this quarter, GNOME translation teams worked on delivering localization support for GNOME 3, which was released on April 4 with more than 50 fully supported languages. In comparison to previous development cycles, the road to the GNOME 3.0.0 release was marked with many string freeze breaks that occurred very late in the cycle so that translation teams had to put extra effort into delivering high quality GNOME translations.

GNOME translators also worked on localization support for additional marketing resources related to GNOME 3, including the website.

In preparation for the 3.0.0 release, there was a module set reorganization done in Damned LiesGNOME 3.0 release set in order to better match the gnome-3.0 module set as maintained in JHBuild. Possible ways on how to further improve the GNOME modules representation in Damned Lies were discussed in the gnome-i18n mailing list.

Also, a new functionality was introduced to Damned Lies in that the service now offers translators the so called reduced PO files; these files do not include strings that are rarely visible to (end) users, such as “” strings, making it easier for translation teams with limited manpower to translate the GNOME modules.

Czech community events

Just a follow-up to my previous post on the GNOME 3 Launch Party in Prague and two notes with regard to my past and future talks on FLOSS community localization.

Registration opened for the GNOME 3 Launch Party in Prague

Jiří set up a simple registration form and we ask all attendants to register. This is in particular so organizers will have some idea as to how many people can be expected for the first part of our party with talks, and also for booking the pub afterwards.

The registration form is in Czech (almost), nonetheless, but it shouldn’t be hard to submit it even if you don’t understand the language: fill in your given name and surname in the text box, then remember to tick the checkboxes below, the first one is for the first part of the party, and the second for the social event. (Yes, the Submit button and the “Required” label don’t seem to be localizable in the Google Docs interface.)

LinuxAlt 2010

I gave a talk on localization at the LinuxAlt 2010 community conference which was held in Brno, at the Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Information Technology, on November 6-7, 2010. Similarly to the one at the conference in Zilina last summer, this talk was mainly about the i18n/l10n basics, translation community building within the smaller and bigger projects alike, about usual translation workflows and tools, be it on the desktop or in the cloud, translation outsourcing, crowdsourcing and other buzzwords everybody loves.

Slides and audio record are available (in Czech). There is no recorded stream for download yet.

Open Source Conference / LinuxExpo 2011

The biggest FLOSS event in the Czech Republic, at least as per attendance, will be held on April 19, 2011 in Prague, at the U Hájků Congress Center. My talk on localization has been accepted recently, but the conference schedule is not available yet.

So if you will be around Prague either on April 9 or April 19, don’t hesitate to catch me. I always appreciate a chance to meet up and talk to people who are passionate about FLOSS communities, localization and documentation. I swear I’m rather chit-chatty when it comes to these things!

Localization Update for the 2010 Q4 GNOME Quarterly Report

Just a word of preface to fellow quarterly report writers: we still lack ca. 8 reports, so if you haven’t submit your update yet, now is the right time to do so. The deadline was postponed to February 4, 2011.

On October 16, Gil Forcada presented results of the GNOME I18N Survey which was referred to in the previous report. A brief analysis of the results was included.

Discussion on the possibility and feasibility of translating schema files within separated gettext domains or catalogs emerged from the survey analysis debate, as well as the point of localizing certain types of strings that are usually not user-visible. Especially the price of splitting limited resources within smaller translation teams was compared with the eventual need to make significant changes to the current GNOME i18n infrastructure and also to various module build systems.

With regard to the Release Team’s second proposal for moduleset reorganization from October 7, which would allow various software projects outside of the GNOME infrastructure to become officially endorsed GNOME software, members of the GNOME Translation Project expressed strong preference for working on l10n support within the GNOME official i18n and SCM infrastructure.

In the debate which spread over the gnome-18n and desktop-devel-list groups, GNOME translators were mainly concerned about translation quality, string freeze periods and release schedules, about expecting developers or maintainers to integrate translations manually to their respective repositories in a suitable, timely manner, and generally about changing the current module requirements by dropping them and/or making them optional for official GNOME software and GNOME developers.

Several proposals were made to (require to) allow the DL infrastructure on auto-commit translations to code repositories not hosted on, to migrate from the DL application altogether and replace it with Transifex, and generally to specify l10n requirements for official modules more narrowly and precisely. No final resolution was made in this regard.

Sysadmin work on DL auto-commit, providing translators a way to manage l10n support without interacting with Git system directly, was resumed during October and November. Furthermore, GTP members discussed options to integrate automatic QA checking with

There were also changes in coordination of the Persian and Romanian team in October and November, respectively.

Localization Update for the 2010 Q3 GNOME Quarterly Report

(As drafted on the gnome-i18n mailing list several days ago.)

On July 29, Andre Klapper represented the GNOME Translation Project at the AGM meeting at GUADEC with a Project update report. At GUADEC, he also gave a talk on “Identifying software projects and translation teams in need” where he provided an overview of interesting data combined & gathered from Damned Lies, GNOME Bugzilla and other relevant sources.

Gil Forcada, with the feedback from other community members, conducted the GNOME I18N Survey by sending a questionnaire on August 13 to every GTP language coordinator, and collecting answers for two weeks. Out of 120 coordinators, 36 answered. The rationale behind the survey was to know each other within the GNOME translation community better, and thus to find ways the GTP can improve the overall experience of translating GNOME.

The sent questionnaire consisted of more than 20 questions on various areas of community l10n in GNOME, e.g. inquiring about general team information, coordinatorship & membership, team workflow, QA processes, use & evaluation of GNOME Damned Lies infrastructure, collaborating with downstream translators, other translation teams, and language institutions, community knowledge sharing, etc.

As for the GNOME development itself, GTP language teams have been busy working on providing l10n support for the new GNOME stable release 2.32, which was delivered on September 29. GTP has been also investigating approaches to help out language teams that seemed to be considerably short on manpower and/or proper coordinatorship, this included the Persian and Welsh teams.

We also communicated with GNOME developers to try to solve i18n issues with translating strings within submodules, strings with constructed sentences, and some other problems that (re)appeared during the Q3 period.

During Q4, apart from working on l10n support for the upcoming GNOME 3, GTP community aims for identifying issues with the current i18n & l10n infrastructure inside and outside the GNOME Project, like the Git commit functionality, and solving them, hopefully implementing the necessary GTP support for repositories hosted at and elsewhere. This is to be done in conjunction with the Release Team’s proposal for moduleset reorganization.

Translation Teams Off

You are a developer and you want to keep your project moving forward. You set up various communication channels and organize an open community around. Your vivid project starts to attract new people, amongst them are people who intend to contribute code to the project. Great, because that’s what you were waiting for when you started building your FLOSS community.

Naturally, you do not allow anyone on the net to directly contribute code without any, more or less formal,  review process. That’s good, since you care about happy community of contributing members, but you also want quality that you can be proud of.

Translation Teams Off

And then there’s the world of community localization. You are most likely not a polyglot, and you can hardly do a review process with tons of languages from around the world, apart from making sure that the localization work you’ve been provided is not missing some obvious bits of technicalities. So you simply open the submit process for l10n to anyone, or reach to some nice outsourcing tool, hoping that translators will eventually cope with it and the project’s l10n will be worthy, as is the code. But really?

But Really, It’s For Your Own Good

That is, not to stick to the openness at any cost. The fact is that, quite similarly to the code contribution, the quality work in l10n will not miraculously show up. It needs reviews, proper management, suitable workflow. It needs community.

One of the first things you need to do if you want to facilitate building a real l10n community is to set up, more or less formal, rules. So you turn the translation teams option on. You encourage work in translation teams & projects, so your translators can interact with each other and share knowledge. You keep an eye on l10n. You are responsive to the needs of your translation team members. Then you are a great developer with FLOSS project that deserves quality & efficiency in l10n very much comparable to that of the professional (as in commercial) translators with plenty of ISO & DIN certificates. And your project has it. For free. (Almost.)

Translation Teams

It’s time to participate in the GNOME i18n survey

If you happen to be one of the GNOME Translation Project language team coordinators, and you haven’t done so yet, now is the right time to participate in the GNOME i18n survey conducted by Gil Forcada on behalf of the GNOME Translation Project!

The rationale behind this survey is that the GNOME i18n community (which the language team coordinators are naturally part of) wants to know better each other, so that the GNOME Translation Project can improve the overall experience of translating GNOME, as Gil outlined in his survey email. Some of you may remember that there was a similar survey conducted by an Ubuntu i18n community in the past which greatly inspired this effort.

On August 13, Gil sent out a plain text file with survey questions to all coordinators’ addresses we could gather. Nevertheless, only a fraction of coordinators have responded so far, so once again, in case you are one of the majority, please don’t hesitate to take a few moments to fill out the questionnaire! Or if you know any of those coordinators, please ping them! Yes, it’s quite important!

For those of you interested in knowing what the survey questions are, you can find them attached in the aforementioned Gil’s email, and a final draft is available on Also keep an eye there for results.

Localization Update for the 2010 Q2 GNOME Quarterly Report

(As discussed on the gnome-i18n mailing list.)

Various localization teams that are part of the GNOME Translation Project continued with focusing their localization effort on stable GNOME 2.30.1 and 2.30.2 releases which were released on April 28 and June 23, respectively. Localization teams will proceed further with working on localization for the upcoming GNOME 3 release.

GNOME translation community that gather together on the gnome-i18n mailing list discussed and conducted common translation project administrivia, including assistance in changing coordinators in several localization teams, the most notable case being the Slovak translation team, in which several translators expressed their discontent with the current way of coordination. The issue was thoroughly discussed within the Coordination Team in order to mediate the dispute and was settled down in the beginning of July when the current Slovak coordinator announced his resignation.

Among other things discussed was the legal issue of whether translators who are not legal experts should translate legal notices or license texts that usually come with the free software distribution. This topic was further discussed on the GNOME legal-list with Luis Villa.

Also, there was a change done in the structure of the GNOME Translation Project coordination. Previously, the project was formally led by two Spokes Persons who were also senior members of the extended Coordination Team. Now, the Spokes Person status has been obsoleted in favor of a larger Coordination Team.

For string freeze break requests during the GNOME Desktop development cycle, developers are now required to obtain the approval from two members of the Coordination Team. The Coordination Team that now consists of 11 members will also seek ways to improve the responsiveness about requests.

One of the important tasks that the GNOME Translation Project intends to accomplish during Q3 is completing the implementation of Git commit support through the infrastructure running on