Towards the end of the year, The Document Foundation would like to share achievements in 2014 with our community and our generous donours, to whom we’d like to express our sincerest gratitude and thanks for their incredible and wonderful support and their invaluable contributions!
Sophie Gautier is in charge of our L10N and NLP projects at The Document Foundation, and gives you insight into this key part of our project:
L10n – NLPs status quo
I would like to give a brief overview of the many things that happened or are in the pipe either on the Localization project (L10n) or on the Native Language projects (NLPs). For the latter, it is not always easy to know what is going on locally, but we tend to get more and more feedback from these groups which is really great.
So, on the Localization side, several new languages were added to Pootle these last months, more Indic languages, for example. Translating UI and Help is a very huge task, and when you think it is finished, there is still some work to do for the next version. For example, currently, the teams are in the starting blocks to translate the 4.4.x new features strings and the various enhancements that have been provided by the Design team. Also the change of file format to .ui means that the l10n teams had to translate again all the dialogs. Fortunately, this change is of great help because the dialogs adapt to the length of the strings (no need anymore to count the characters in the word to fit the space), but we are also able to display those dialogs in Glade, allowing to see the strings in context, which is something all localizers are dreaming of! All in all, that makes many new words for both UI and Help projects. And this is not the only translation projects we handle via Pootle, there is also the Website, Impress for Android and iOS, sometimes AskBot projects.
Dedicated to newcomers of the l10n project, two guides have been written; one concerning how to use Pootle, the second one on the structure of .po files (for example, it shows how to distinguish variables or which xml tags are used). There was absolutely no documentation on the structure contents by the past and one had to guess what he had to translate or not. And it is very easy to break a build when tags miss or mismatch, so this brings some relief to the developers too.
Thanks to our Brazilian friends several of the help articles concerning new functions have been completed. We are also working on porting the translation of the help files on the wiki. This is a difficult task because we do not want to complicate the translation task on one hand, but we want to simplify the help maintenance and open it to non-technical contributors on the other hand, which is currently impossible. Some technical issues have still to be resolved, but we are optimistic that we will be able to set it in a near future. As a work in progress also, we hope to push the migration to a new version of Pootle, with an integrated translation memory.
On the Native Language projects side, we are happy to see more and more contributors to the local projects and really good news coming from several of them, like the Italian community or the Japanese and Chinese ones. They not only contribute to their local projects, but you can find those members active in QA, development or documentation.
One of the major tasks handled this year by these teams was the translation and adaptation of the new website design. During the year, the website itself was translated on Pootle and the content by website owners. This gives a uniformed design to all the language sites bringing more quality and a professional look and feel to our project.
One way to measure the growth of activities in these projects is how we all together manage the press releases. Once the text is fixed by the marketing project, the native language projects translate them and send them back to the marketing team for distribution to the press in their countries. We are now able to release in almost 9 languages for each major release. It is also something really exciting to see how the developers, the quality assurance, native language, design and marketing projects interact during the last month before the release. Of course it happens also all time between two or three of them, but the communication has improved between all of them.
Another great thing that has happened recently while in heavy discussion since some times, is the Planet in all languages. It is really impressive to see all those languages mixed in one thread but that you can filter by the language you prefer. There is currently ten languages available covering several blog writers.
Always trying to be as transparent as possible and to bring as much information to the community as we can, the Annual Report due as a TDF official document to the Berlin authorities, has been translated into English and is available to the Native Language projects for their own use, to inform either on the product and the community.
On the local side, TDF has supported several hackfests and numerous events have been organized all over the world by the Native Language Projects. And we are really happy that the Danish team is organizing the next international LibreOffice conference in Aarhus.
To reflect all this effervescence, we have set a Big Thank You page on the wiki, where all L10n and NLPs contributors are invited to add their name. But that’s not all, we have also a world map, detailing the skills of the contributor in addition to his location. And stay tuned, more is coming!