October 4th, 2010 § § permalink
It is incredibly wonderful to see forward momentum on a somewhat long wait for a Foundation for OpenOffice.org project. The Document Foundation has promised to be an independent self-governing meritocratic Foundation. And, that is actually a lot of good intentions to live up to.
Once the rush of news announcements are over it would be nice to see some concrete time-line driven announcements from the Foundation. These would possibly end up around areas concerning:
- how LibreOffice builds upon the existing work done within the fold of OpenOffice.org community
- the cohesive nature of participation amongst existing Native Language Communities for OO.o and, LibreOffice
- would LibreOffice contributions start off from a point in time
The last two items are specifically close to one’s heart because it goes directly and deeply into how the existing community finds a place within the new infrastructure and, how the contributions keep happening. Whether this would require reaching out to all the existing community/project leaders and seeking consensus is something that the wise heads at TDF know. I would wait to see more decisions being announced around infrastructure, contribution processes and, actual contributions begin to happen at a rapid clip.
Here’s to a new beginning.
March 10th, 2010 § § permalink
For as long as I can remember I have found the LWN.net Community Calendar very useful. It would perhaps be nice to have a similar web-based calendar for Fedora events across the world. Currently, the events are tracked by this page. That is nice but doesn’t give the visual representation of a month full of events world-wide.
It would be nice to have a calendar that integrates with FAS and, allows someone to post the details of the event. Another group of folks, can take a look-see at the posting and approve it to be listed. The original poster could choose to be the event owner or, add someone who is the actual owner. Since Events etc fall under the ambit of FAmSCo, perhaps they might consider this stuff.
November 7th, 2009 § § permalink
I have been using Transifex based systems for a couple of days/weeks now. And, in line with what I did mention on my micro-blog, Transifex and Lotte make things really easy. The coolest devel crew makes that happen. And, since they lurk online and engage with their users, every little tweak or, improvement that is suggested and considered makes the consumers feel part of the good work they are doing. Good karma and awesome excitement all around.
At some point in time during the week, I’d put them in the tickets as feature enhancements. However, for the time being, here’s a couple:
- Lotte should allow me to click on a file that is not yet translated for my language and, add it to the collection. If I recall correctly, the current way to add it is to download the .pot, convert to the appropriate .po and, upload it with comments etc
- Lotte needs to allow “Copy from Source”. This should accelerate translation by removing the extra step of having to actually select, copy and paste. This comes in handy when translating strings within tags or, brands/trademarks and so forth
- Handling and using translation memory could be built into Lotte. For a particular file in a specific language within a project, it could perhaps provide suggestions of translated words. In the future, allowing teams to add their glossaries would make it a more powerful tool too. Having said that, I’ve always wondered what happens when team glossaries are created from files across various projects – is there a license compatibility soup problem that could crop up ?
- A Transifex installation could provide notifications of new files or, updated files for the language. This could be limited to the files for which the last translator is the person receiving the notices or, ideally, could be for the language itself.
- Statistics – providing each language a visual representation of commits over time or, per contributor commits would also be a nice addition
So much for Transifex, in fact, I need to write out all of that in a nicer way so as to allow the possibility of these turning into GSoC projects within Transifex.
Coming to Virtaal. With lokalize being unbearably useless for me (it adds garbled text or whitespaces into files when using the stock F11 supplied one) and, before it is commented, no I haven’t filed a bug yet, getting the files done was a bit more important at that specific point. So, mea culpa. But I do check with every yum update and, it is still the same. The specific issue with Virtaal is that each time one gets a new string loaded for translation, the text input area loses the input method details. Which means that it is a constant game of switch back and forth between the inputs. Sadly enough, this is the only software that currently works for me (I don’t want to set up a local pootle/transifex instance and, do web based translation)
September 14th, 2008 § § permalink
In recent times I have blogged about ‘non community based approach to l10n‘ (mail from Gora Mohanty). There is a particular mail on the gnome-i18n mailing list that provides some inputs towards formulating a plan on avoiding such repeat incidents. To quote:
CDAC is a government funded agency and takes up projects from
Government which are based on deadlines which are sometimes strict and
harsh. We work towards deadlines and are answerable to the funding
agency on things we commit. Localisation activity happens to be one of
I tend to hold on to the theory that both the distributions in essence (BOSSLinux and Baishakhi Linux) should be no different that other Linux distributions who work ‘within‘ the community in harmony and collaborate to innovate. Expanding on what I already wrote about working with existing L10n communities, a means to make this possible is to have a release plan available for public view. All the major distributions have a release schedule available in public and an immediate effect of this is that it makes it possible for potential contributors and existing communities to comprehend how the pieces fit in.
Having a release schedule also makes it easy to assess how much work would be required to be put into localization of a particular language, since the components of the distribution in terms of GNOME/KDE/Xfce etc would be targeting a particular release of the desktop environments. The bits that are specific to the distribution viz. installer, configuration toolkits can then be done by the team in charge of the distribution or, the community around the distribution. Taking an example nearer to home, there is much to learn from how to work ‘in’ the community if one takes a long hard look at how Fedora operates.
The reasons that the community got lumped with a huge load of translated files was that there was a lack of communication and synchronization with the folks doing L10n and there was a lack of transparency in the infrastructure that produces the distribution. These are not insurmountable problems, but these are required to work within the community and collaborate to produce high quality of Free Software.
Here is an organisation which is willing to make crucial contributions
to the community at its own defined speed. I would want to believe
that this is one of the larger contributions any government agency has
made to the localisation efforts. Government has its interest in the
effort and so has its own temporal goals. We need to meet those goals
and so sometimes we need to take a path which satisfies our funding
Every distribution has its own defined velocity of releases and logic of cherry picking components from upstream to integrate. Taking a path to satisfy the funding agency should not be at odds with the community at large within whose framework the work is being undertaken. If, they are at odds, it is the onus of the Program Manager for the distribution to talk with both the funding agencies and the community towards providing accurate and transparent communication.
Should a major chunk of contribution go unnoticed just because we did
not satisfy the egos of those in ‘power’?
In the realm of FOSS, contributions are not merely contributions of code or content. Contributions define the nature of the group that is contributing, and, whether they desire to learn about the civic rules into which they desire to integrate themselves. Through learning comes awareness and via awareness one transforms into a good citizen in the FOSS world.