Kubuntu Lucid Translations
What Kubuntu needs from Rosetta for it to be a benefit rather than a hassle.
Kubuntu is available in more languages than ever before with many languages having near complete coverage.
The current approach has a number of problems for Kubuntu developers and translators. A non-trivial amount of time is taken up maintaining the template generation code. This includes work for the packaging systems such as porting to debhelper 7, it also includes work on individual packages such as specifying the .desktop template name and including that in the kde-l10n-xx packages. Sometimes upstream has broken or non-existent template generation in their release tars, template generation exposes this problem which is a hassle for us and which upstream may or may not care about. .desktop translation templates are not generated from the package but downloaded from upstream where possible which gives imperfect results.
Formal quality assurance is non-existent. There is no reliable way to know if upstream language packs match Ubuntu language packs for template strings, translated strings or templates. Manual checks are not sufficient.
Launchpad will start to take control of template generation. KDE should be considered a priority for this second only to intltool translated packages. Launchpad developers should write a detailed specification for how they would do template generation including the sources they would use, scripts needed, keeping in sync with the archive and with upstream translations.
Launchpad and Ubuntu translation developers will create a tool, probably with a web frontend, for comparing upstream language packs with Ubuntu language packs. This would clearly show what template files exist in kde-l10n-xx but do not or have been added in language-pack-kde-xx. It will show what template strings each template has added or is missing. Finally it will show what translated strings have been changed in common languages such as French.
The Kubuntu developers will ensure that .desktop templates are generated from files within the package rather than downloaded from upstream.
If the above is not implemented by the end of January 2010 the Kubuntu developers will consider dropping Launchpad use for translations of KDE mainline modules and using upstream language packs directly for Lucid.
A method for ensuring all strings are translatable should be implemented. The Launchpad developers should for example create a language pack for the xx-test psudo language which adds "xx" to the beginning and end of each string. This provides a more reliable way to manually check that all strings are translatable because it does not depend on a language translation being complete or on strings being different in the tested language.