Ubuntu Open Week - Demythifying Launchpad Translations - Not-so-well-known Roseta features - David Planella - Fri, May 1st, 2009

(12:01:29 PM) dpm: ok, thanks jcastro
(12:01:44 PM) dpm: so, hello everyone, thank you very much for coming and be warmly welcome to this session on Launchpad Translations!
(12:02:04 PM) dpm: My name is David Planella, and I have very recently joined the Community team as the Ubuntu Translations Coordinator.
(12:02:33 PM) dpm: As such I've been appointed as the Fourth Horseman under Jono Bacon's lead, riding along with Jorge Castro and Daniel Holbach in this exciting journey.
(12:03:09 PM) dpm: My task will be to work with and within the Ubuntu translations community to provide the best translations in the free software world
(12:03:18 PM) dpm: - as simple as that.
(12:03:27 PM) k-milogars: good
(12:03:42 PM) dpm: I strongly believe that software should be available in every user's language, and in pursuing this goal I've also been a long time contributor to free/open source translations in my own language,
(12:03:57 PM) dpm: which is a voluntary task I will continue doing, as usual, whenever time allows.
(12:04:15 PM) dpm: First of all, a few words on how this session will be structured: this will not be a tutorial on how to translate Ubuntu, but rather an overview of our cool translation tool and some of its features not many of you folks might yet be aware of.
(12:04:35 PM) dpm: Here are the topics I'd like to talk about today...
(12:04:50 PM) dpm: 1. Launchpad Translations
(12:04:59 PM) dpm: 2. Translation updates
(12:05:03 PM) dpm: 3. Giving back to upstream
(12:05:09 PM) dpm: 4. Upstream prevalence
(12:05:16 PM) dpm: 5. Quality assurance
(12:05:24 PM) dpm: 6. External projects
(12:05:30 PM) dpm: 7. Community
(12:05:37 PM) dpm: 8. Contributing to Ubuntu Translations
(12:05:42 PM) dpm: Questions and answers
(12:06:05 PM) dpm: It's a long list so I might have to shorten the topics if we get short on time
(12:06:14 PM) dpm: So without further ado...
(12:06:22 PM) dpm: Let's get going
(12:06:31 PM) dpm: = Launchpad Translations (1/8) =
(12:06:43 PM) dpm: As most of you probably know, Launchpad ( is the tool used for development and maintenance of Ubuntu.
(12:07:08 PM) dpm: To this respect, Translations are not an exception, and perfectly married to Ubuntu's goal to make translations a first class citizen in the open source scene, Launchpad sports a dedicated component for translating Ubuntu
(12:08:09 PM) dpm: This component goes by the very imaginative name of Launchpad Translations (, and it effectively allows translating Ubuntu in a distributed manner. In other words, it is an online translation tool.
(12:08:27 PM) dpm: Some of you might also know it by its codename: Rosetta
(12:09:02 PM) dpm: Ubuntu is currently translated in about 200 languages, with different levels of coverage, and can easily support more. You can see the languages supported of in our shiny new version of Ubuntu here:
(12:09:44 PM) dpm: These translations are made by the community, organised in several translation teams
(12:10:11 PM) dpm: And I must not forget to remark that many of these translations come also from upstream translation communities and are then imported into Ubuntu
(12:10:39 PM) dpm: = Translation updates (2/8) =
(12:11:08 PM) dpm: One of the big advantages of using Launchpad Translations is that it allows contributors to translate not even during the development stage of a given Ubuntu version, but also after the release - that is, during its complete life cycle
(12:11:19 PM) caty is now known as cATY_BRB
(12:11:44 PM) dpm: - why is that so cool?, I hear you ask
(12:11:59 PM) dpm: Enter language packs
(12:12:19 PM) dpm: These are software packages containing translations from Rosetta. They are released at regular intervals with snapshots of the translations contributors have been doing in Rosetta.
(12:12:56 PM) dpm: That effectively means that new translations are regularly released, independently from applications, and users can in short time see the improvements and fixes done by translators.
(12:13:28 PM) dpm: We build update packages for all stable releases once a week and upload them into the ubuntu-langpack PPA at From there they ultimately make their way into the distro, which is when users see the changes
(12:14:10 PM) dpm: More on language packs ->
(12:14:38 PM) dpm: = Giving back to upstream (3/8) =
(12:14:56 PM) dpm: We do not yet have a mechanism in place to automatically push Ubuntu translations to the upstream projects - i.e. the original projects from which some translations come from.
(12:15:23 PM) dpm: As those of you involved with translations will know, this is a tricky task.
(12:16:15 PM) dpm: There is a variety of projects with different translation formats, infrastructures and policies which make this difficult.
(12:17:10 PM) dpm: As an example, not all upstream communities would be happy with committing translations from Ubuntu translators automatically without having reviewed them themselves to make sure they comply with their guidelines.
(12:18:11 PM) dpm: In short, we have not yet -and I believe no one else has- developed a tool which is a substitute for human communication
(12:18:46 PM) dpm: As such, we encourage translation teams to work together with their local upstream translation communities, to make sure there is a smooth communication and to give back their contributions when necessary.
(12:19:40 PM) dpm: What we do provide is great flexibility in getting these translations out of Rosetta and back to upstream
(12:20:02 PM) dpm: * You can download the translations on a per-package-basis, either for a given language or for all languages
(12:20:45 PM) dpm: * The whole lot of language pack tarballs containing all translations for a given release can also be conveniently downloaded from here (the Jaunty ones, as an example)
(12:21:30 PM) dpm: * We have also got a recent feature which allows you to export only the translation changes made in Launchpad ->
(12:22:06 PM) dpm: * In fact, even if you only contribute to upstream, this flexibility already gives you the best of both worlds: you can use the nice Rosetta interface to translate on line, download the translation when you are finished, and submit it upstream.
(12:23:07 PM) dpm: In any case, we are always happy to listen to what the community wants, and we are continually assessing new ways to improve this interaction with upstream
(12:23:21 PM) dpm: = Upstream prevalence (4/8) =
(12:23:34 PM) dpm: Still related to upstream, a few months ago we also implemented a feature addressing the wishes of the community and that maybe not so many people are aware of.
(12:23:51 PM) dpm: Now translations from upstream have got prevalence over the ones from Launchpad.
(12:24:09 PM) dpm: Yes, this means that the upstream strings effectively override those translated in Launchpad.
(12:25:01 PM) dpm: However, we want Ubuntu translation teams to keep their ability to decide whether a string needs to be changed in particular cases (e.g. in case of a translation mistake)
(12:26:01 PM) dpm: With this feature we get the original translations from upstream and the flexibility to either complete them or fix them in specific situations. Together with the fact that these fixes and new translations are soon released to the users through language packs, this make us unstoppable! ;)
(12:26:34 PM) dpm: You will find some more detailed information on this feature here ->
(12:26:53 PM) dpm: = Quality assurance (5/8) =
(12:27:08 PM) dpm: Quality is also an important aspect in Ubuntu translations
(12:27:31 PM) dpm: In order to address this, we provide flexibility for each team to decide which permission policy they want to use for translations:
(12:28:09 PM) dpm: The Rosetta user interface also supports this in the form of translation suggestions, allowing a review process to be adopted by the team
(12:28:47 PM) dpm: We encourage each team to have a set of guidelines -including e.g. best practices, translation guides and glossaries-, and they can include a link to those in the Launchpad interface
(12:29:22 PM) dpm: In this way translators are aware of them an can conveniently click on those to consult them any time during translation
(12:29:52 PM) dpm: More information on translation stile guides here ->
(12:30:35 PM) dpm: = External projects (6/8) =
(12:32:09 PM) dpm: The Rosetta developers, not being contented with providing a tool for Ubuntu translations, went up a step higher towards world domination and allowed for external projects not associated with Ubuntu to use their translation tool.
(12:32:53 PM) dpm: Launchpad offers translation hosting for upstream projects, independently of where they are hosted and of which version control system they use. They can simply register to Launchpad for the use of translations.
(12:33:35 PM) dpm: In other words, a project can have its code and webpage hosted somewhere else than in Launchpad AND still use the benefits of Rosetta
(12:34:12 PM) dpm: ... AND make translators happy along the way
(12:34:34 PM) dpm: now how many of you translators here have had to chase a developer through mailing list for months on end until your translation was ever commited?
(12:35:11 PM) dpm: We want to help communities not specifically related to Ubuntu organize themselves and their efforts around Launchpad, and with that in mind we created the Launchpad Translators group
(12:36:12 PM) dpm: This is a project started and driven by community members who came up with the idea at the last UDS, with the purpose to help coordinating the efforts of translating external projects in Launchpad
(12:36:55 PM) dpm: You'll find more information about it here
(12:37:49 PM) cATY_BRB is now known as caty
(12:37:54 PM) dpm: Least but not last, I'd like to mention that although it is not a requirement for external projects using Launchpad, if they choose bzr as their version control system they will get to taste two of the new features which came fresh from the Rosetta developers' oven:
(12:38:47 PM) dpm: Automatic imports of templates ( and translations (
(12:39:12 PM) dpm: I'll leave it up to you to read more on those.
(12:39:30 PM) dpm: = Community (7/8) =
(12:39:53 PM) dpm: As in the rest of Ubuntu, we want translations to have an open workflow and welcome the community to participate in this process
(12:41:30 PM) dpm: As a means of pursuing this goal, we've got several open communication channels such as mailing lists, the Ubuntu wiki and IRC ->
(12:42:17 PM) dpm: We want to empower the community to be able to completely manage Ubuntu translations without the need of any developer intervention
(12:42:40 PM) Rafik_ is now known as Rafik
(12:42:53 PM) dpm: To this purpose, we've got the Ubuntu Translation Coordinators team (, of which some of the community members who are doing awesome contributions to translations are already part of.
(12:43:26 PM) dpm: There's already great progress there, but there's always more to do.
(12:43:49 PM) dpm: Freedom: as some of you may now, we are we are making Launchpad free software with the release 3.0 coming in July 2009!
(12:44:33 PM) dpm: = Contributing to Ubuntu Translations (8/8) =
(12:44:51 PM) dpm: so, are you interested in translating Ubuntu into your own language and let yourself and many other users enjoy the results of your effort? Go on, contact your local team and contribute to the spirit of Ubuntu!
(12:45:23 PM) dpm: You can just go to and look for the team in charge of the language you are interested in
(12:45:56 PM) dpm: Then you can click on its link and finally click on the 'Overview' tab of its Launchpad space
(12:46:18 PM) dpm: There you will find information on how to join them, and they will assist you in your first steps using Rosetta and translating Ubuntu
(12:47:08 PM) dpm: For general discussion and information, feel welcome to use any of the communication channels available ->
(12:47:30 PM) dpm: Here are a few additional links which will help you getting started:
(12:47:38 PM) dpm: • List of Ubuntu Translation teams:
(12:47:51 PM) dpm: • List of Launchpad Translation teams (for projects not specific to Ubuntu):
(12:47:59 PM) dpm: • How to translate Ubuntu:
(12:48:13 PM) dpm: • Launchpad Translations help:
(12:48:26 PM) dpm: • Questions and answers on Launchpad translations:
(12:48:54 PM) dpm: And remember, many of those are wiki resources, so you can also contribute to expanding and improving them
(12:49:22 PM) dpm: phew, we covered a lot of ground there. Thanks for listening so far.
(12:49:41 PM) dpm: we'll now head up to the Q+A part
(12:50:09 PM) dpm: <^arky^> Question: Why does some LP packages like say gnome-orca does not have the Translations link?
(12:51:28 PM) dpm: It might have been that a developer forgot to link to a release series, in any case, you can find the gnome-orca translations here ->
(12:51:50 PM) dpm: <charlie-tca> QUESTION: has several suggestions listed. Who approves/disapproves those?
(12:52:31 PM) dpm: The Ubuntu Arabic Translators team seems to be in charge of those ->
(12:52:55 PM) dpm: As such,  they can review and approve suggestions
(12:53:41 PM) dpm: You'll find more information, such as how to contact them, on their wiki page ->
(12:54:36 PM) jcastro: 5 minute warning!
(12:56:03 PM) jcastro: ok, we'll take a 5 minute break since there are no questions
(12:56:05 PM) jcastro: thanks dpm!
(12:56:17 PM) dpm: :)
(12:56:24 PM) dpm: Many thanks for listening and I hope to see some of you guys contributing to translations very soon!


MeetingLogs/openweekJaunty/DemythifyingLaunchpadTranslations (last edited 2009-07-20 13:37:41 by p54A13477)