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Re: Quick impressions of Rossetta

On 26/03/2006, at 10:31 PM, Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña wrote:

I'm currently writting a paper with Christian Perrier for Debconf6 and, after reviewing the mailing lists I found a message from Michael Vogt mentioning that they had reused the work of the DDTP done years back into Rosetta [1]

Firstly, I agree with what Christian has said in response to this mail. Interfaces like Rosetta and Pootle are new, and need to be integrated into our workflow. This is happening steadily. We can look forward to these tools being more and more effective.

Now, after recovering my password from Launchpad (I didn't knew I was
registered, either this was done automatically or I did and forgot about it)
I accessed the Rosetta web interface for translations.

I've started using Launchpad again, because I'm a member of the Ubuntu-Women group (although I'm not a Ubuntu user), and the FAQ says that if you are a developer or packager, your account would have been created automatically so they can communicate with you about your software. This way, some people actually end up with two accounts, which can be confusing. :S

Here are some first impressions, notice that I'm the main ("official") Gaim
translator upstream and I also maintain a lot of Debconf translations

- Rosetta shows statistics of translations per "package" and per language.
  Translations done in Rosetta are show in purple.

- there are updates to translations I'm a maintainer of in Rosetta which I've
  never known where available

The awkward thing is that people find these interfaces, and the interfaces didn't, in the past, tell them to make contact with the official translation projects before starting to translate the files available on the interfaces. Many files have been uploaded simply to test the import processes. (There is now restricted access, as you have found, Javier.)

I had personal experience of this previous problem, when I found Rosetta, before I joined any formal translation project, and started translating Gaim. I got a fair way through it, only to find that Gaim on Pootle was already partly-translated. So I finished the Pootle file, only to find then, that my version of Gaim was 'too new', in other words that I had suffered, as others have, and as projects have, from these interfaces not being linked closely enough with the original projects, at that stage.

However, I know that Pootle, for quite some time now, has restricted access to any file to only those people assigned to it by the project co-ordinator. I imagine Rosetta does the same. Utilmately, arranging that access will be easier, and will be integrated with the translation projects.

It still means there's some orphaned work and wasted effort around from earlier, though...

The stats can be confusing. I log into Launchpad, and in the left- hand sidebar, it shows me stats for Vietnamese translations of Dapper (Ubuntu release). I know perfectly well that there is _no_ Vietnamese translation team at Ubuntu. So where do these stats come from? I imagine they are files we have translated elsewhere, at the TP, Gnome, Debian, KDE etc., which are part of the Ubuntu release. It's still confusing, though. I haven't tried to see what Launchpad presents as the "Vietnamese translations", but I probably should. ;)

- I cannot tell for certain which changes have been introduced by other translators to my original translation (even if in the statistics the translations are marked in purple, meaning that they have been modified
  within Rosetta)
Note: I can have Rosetta send me a PO file but then I have to diff PO files myself, which is extremely cumbersome (specially if the PO translation
  applies to different program versions)

- Rosetta's web interface hides comments in PO files, so people translating
  the Gaim PO file are not aware that I introduced a glossary of terms

- For long PO files (Gaim has more than 2000 strings) the web interface (10
  lines at a time) is useless
Note: You can upload files to Rosetta so I guess you can download it and
  then re-upload it once translated

(Yes, in both Pootle and Rosetta you can upload and download files, and you can configure the interface to show as many strings as you wish, different numbers for editing and checking (in Pootle at least).)

- If I select a debconf translation I'm a maintainer of in Debian it shows
  me a warning "you are not an official translator for this file" so I
  cannot make a change there. Really?

These are things which, as Christian says, will be fixed in time. See the Pootle roadmap (Rosetta uses at least some of the Pootle technology, so this should move downstream to them).


All in all, these stuff puts me off. I don't think I'm more inclined now to
use Rosetta than I was before if this is the way it handles "upstream"
translators and their work.

It's the integration between the interface and upstream that needs work at this stage, as you've noticed. That work will be done, even faster if we show interest in using these projects. ;)

from Clytie (vi-VN, Vietnamese free-software translation team / nhóm Việt hóa phần mềm tự do)

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