This document defines the specification for a web portal to Ubuntu Translations. The intention of the portal is to provide a site on http://translations.ubuntu.com that can serve to aggregate and showcase the current content related to Ubuntu Translations with the main purposes of:

  • Inspiring and getting new contributors excited about translations
  • Be used as a spring board for anyone to easily get started to translating Ubuntu

Release Note

A web portal to unify all the available content on Ubuntu translations such as stories, announcements, language teams, documentation, etc. This will be the starting point for everyone interested to contribute or know more about Ubuntu Translations.


Currently the information about news, documentation and everything related to keeping up to date or getting involved in Ubuntu translations is spread around several resources: wiki, mailing list, microblogging, Launchpad. The main entry point is the Translations namespace on the Ubuntu wiki, which can be a daunting site for newcomers, as well as not providing the option to offer attractive and dynamic content.

Translations is a key area in the Ubuntu community, and we would like to present and make all the essential content available from a single place that is easy to access and provides all the information in a quick way.

User stories

  • Sira has been a long time Ubuntu user in his language, Thai. He realises that some parts of Ubuntu are untranslated and would like to contribute translating this. The translations portal points gives him all the essential information so that he can start translating Ubuntu in few minutes.

  • Klaudia is new to Ubuntu and would like to get involved in the community. She is good at languages, and lands on the translations portal, which helps her getting excited about translations and find an area to start contributing to.

  • Charles works for an OEM. He'd like to ship an Ubuntu image in a set of languages and would like to know how well translated it is for each one of them. The portal provides him articles about translation statistics and a good idea of the languages he can ship and of the ones that might need work.


The scope of work for the Natty cycle will be the following:

  • Ubuntu Translations Portal Deployment at translations.ubuntu.com, with:

    • Multilingual infrastructure in place, but no translations

    • News content - aggregate feeds and user-submitted content

    • Documentation - core docs moved from the wiki to the portal, other docs in the wiki will appear as links in the portal)

    • Theme - Ubuntu Light theme (or variation thereof)

The infrastructure for the portal will not be created from scratch, and will be based on an existing CMS solution that complies with the requirements outlined in the scope of work above.



One of the most important steps in the design and implementation of the translations portal will be the choice of infrastructure it will run on.

Following the prerequisites that the portal will not be implemented from scratch, that it must be multilingual and that it must be able to host news content and documentation, the decision was been to use Drupal as the Content Management Systems (CMS) to build it, mostly for its excellent multilingual support and extensibility.

Although the Ubuntu Translations Portal poses a unique requirement in terms of a multilingual site, the solutions adopted in existing portals for other key areas of Ubuntu will also be researched, and when possible, resources shared.

Existing Ubuntu portals:




Ubuntu Cloud Portal

Wordpress + Django

Currently hosting the Cloud Planet, but the portal is soon to be deployed there from the staging site)

LoCo Directory


Ubuntu QA Portal


Canonical Design Blog






Ubuntu Developer Summit


Portal Internationalization

The Ubuntu Translations Portal will be a multilingual site, and the majority of its content will be translatable by the community. Ideally it will be translatable using the Launchpad infrastructure, but this will not be a requirement.

The CMS of choice will determine the actual translations workflow and permissions, but ideally content should be translatable in an easy manner - i.e. independently of site updates.

Portal News

The portal should be a source of information around all what happens in the translations world. As such, it should contain a stream of news, but it should also allow user-submitted content.

The CMS of choice should allow syndication of different feeds related to translations (e.g. translations team coordinators blogs, 'Translations' category on the Fridge).

Portal Documentation

Currently all documentation related to translating Ubuntu is on the Ubuntu wiki at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Translations/.

We want to take advantage of the features the portal will offer in terms of better discoverability and translated content, but we want to keep maintaining the wiki a a source of reference for the less user-facing documentatioon, so only the core translations documents will be migrated to the portal.


Once the decision of which CMS to use for the portal, this section will contain a series of mockups and wireframes that will aid with the layout and structure of the content presented in the portal, as well as with designing or adapting a theme.




Example Site





Based on https://code.launchpad.net/canonical-wordpress-theme, which lacks the top h




Proof-of-concept porting of the Ubuntu Cloud Portal to Django (aggregator app)





The specification at ubuntutheproject-community-n-translations-portal contains the detailed action plan, of which here is a high-level overview.

Phase 1 (Natty): Planning and aggregation of current content

  • Research:
    • Staging site hosting
    • Decision on the CMS of choice
    • Internationalization support and workflow
    • Feed syndication
    • Reusing infrastructure and best practices from the existing Ubuntu portals
  • Prototype deployment
  • Design:
    • Creation of mockups for the site structure and presentation of content
  • Content aggregation:
    • News
    • Documentation
  • Theming

TBD - detailed schedule

Test/Demo Plan

In order to be able to test new features, demonstrate them to users and work collaboratively, the Ubuntu Translations Portal will be accessible on a test Internet site.

Research has shown that the best option is to use a cloud instance to host the beta site until it is deployed to a Canonical server.

Unresolved issues

  • There should be a prominent link to the Ubuntu Translations Portal in Launchpad, to direct translators to all community resources on translations.
  • Relevant Launchpad translations content available through the API should be made available on the portal
  • The Ubuntu Translations Portal should also host training content, such as screencasts.
  • The Ubuntu Translations Portal should also host the translation coverage statistics


BoF agenda and discussion

UDS-N Session Notes

* No centralized place to find out how to get started with translations

 * We could put lots of things that should be in Launchpad - it is still a developer-oriented place.

 * Requirements:
   * Internationalization
   * Established tool

 * Questions:
   * Discoverability: how do we get people to land on the portal, rather than e.g. Launchpad
     - idea: maybe LoCo teams could point people there
     - links in other portals
     - ubuntu.com/getting involved
     - i18n should be linked on developer.ubuntu.com
   * Core editorial team - with guidelines
   * Others could write/promote articles for the editorial team to publish
   * People might not be able to write in English, but we should encourage them to write articles in a language they are comfortable with, but we should try as hard as possible to provide a good English translation as well (and further aim at getting even more translations)
   * This site should be *excellent*: only the very best content can get on it

 * Documentation split between "core" (recommended to be translated to all languages, and a "mandatory" read for all translators) and "optional".

 * Modular portal: reuse theme for now
 * I think we should start with things like: how to use LP translations, what is upstream-downstream, what do we translate,

 * Roadmap:
   * Deployment with i18n support
   * Content addition:
     * Newsfeed (announcements)
     * Documentation
   * Ensure discoverability: links to website


Specs/UbuntuTranslationsPortal (last edited 2011-02-08 14:25:49 by 29)