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[D-I] Using Ubuntu's Rosetta or translate.org's Pootle for handling some Debian translations?

I'm crossposting this to -boot as I'm considering using the above for
D-I material, but indeed this is not restricted to D-I stuff.

The Ubuntu project recently announced the Rosetta project while the
Translate Toolkit team announced the Pootle project at about the same

Rosetta: https://launchpad.ubuntu.com/rosetta
Pootle : http://pootle.wordforge.org

Both projects have similar goals : offer a web interface to FOSS
project localisation efforts. The principles are quite similar :
developers or development teams "register" projects, upload the templates
files to these projects and then wait for some translators to jump
into the project and start producing translation files, as PO files.

The advantage for translators is obvious : the interface is very
simple and involved people can focus on the real work : deal with PO
files, and just forget about "nasty" stuff such as dealing with
various Revision Control Systems or reporting bugs in various bug
tracking systems.

As far as I understand, developers are then responsible for "grabbing"
the translated file, check them and integrate them in their

As one of the people in charge of Debian Installer i18n/l10n effort
coordination, I see an immediate benefit to this : we would no more
need to drive translators to our sometimes complex system for
maintaining translations (especially when we come at levels 2, 3 and
4). We just have to keep the POT files up-to-date and either grab
translations from time to time...or have the package maintainers do

To my experience, this would certainly help some teams or individuals,
especially those who work with loosy or highly firewalled Internet
access (the example of the current handling of Bosnian translations
comes to my mind). 

I would really start an experience with some parts of D-I or related
packages with one of these systems, just to see which benefit we could
get from it.

The idea is NOT REPLACING the current work method, which is OK for
several teams and translators. It is just about adding an alternate
method for working for people who cannot easily work with the existing

However, we need to decide which one to use.

At first glance, I would tend to favour the Rosetta system. This is
mainly because we (Debian, and especially the D-I team) have close
interaction with several Ubuntu contibutors and also because, up to
now, I have seen several benefits from Ubuntu go back into Debian.

On the other hand, other people may have concerns about using an
infrastructure controlled by a commercial company such as
Canonical. The infrastructure itself is, as far as I know, not based
on free software products (I may be wrong...this is not very clear to

This is not my own concern, but I feel it may be shared so
I would not drive us into something which could make some people
uncomfortable. Another argument is that the Pootle project seems to
have been adopted (or on its way to be adopted) by several "key" FOSS
projects and has already received a great interest in the i18n/l10n

I certainly would prefer seeing both projects converge but I may be

I just need your opinion about such ideas....as usually in Debian, the
final decision will need to  be made on a consensus basis (or what
will be closer to a consensus..:-))).

Maybe the Ubuntu-involved people could tell us more about
Rosetta...and correct mistaken ideas I, or others, could have.

We may also just decide to ignore these tools...or build our own (aka
reinvent the wheel)....let's just discuss this.


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