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Re: [GNUnet-developers] Ideas and questions

From: Toni Ruottu
Subject: Re: [GNUnet-developers] Ideas and questions
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 16:53:00 +0200

On Thu, 2008-02-14 at 11:28 +0000, Marcos Marado wrote:
> On Thursday 14 February 2008 02:54, Christian Grothoff wrote:
> > On Wednesday 13 February 2008, Milan wrote:
> > > Several points I wished to ask you about:
> > >
> > > * Canonical's Launchpad ( has an easy-to-use tool to
> > > translate free software. Users can propose and/or validate translations
> > > using a nice Web interface, and this is quite easy for them to do even
> > > when they don't know how to work with .po files. Do you think we should
> > > use it? I can have a look at how this is done and create an account for
> > > that, it could bring us a broader language support.
> >
> > I think that the translation project (which does work with po files) is a
> > reasonable place and that we should point people who want to help with
> > translations to them.  We certainly should avoid submitting to two
> > organizations, and PO-support is essential.
> I had the idea that Launchpad did the translations for Ubuntu but that those 
> translations didn't go upstream... Am I wrong?
Launchpad hosts several software projects and several distributions.
Whether or not the translations are sent to whatever place depends on
people working on that particular thing. Some upstream developers are
active on getting translations from Launchpad, I suppose some
translators are also active in sending translations to upstream
projects. The line between the translators and up-/downstream
developers is of course quite blurry.

The point in using Launchpad for translating your software is exactly
that you don't have to know anything about po-files. There is lots of
man power behind Launchpad. Wielding that power is what I think Milan
is suggesting.

Launchpad is a website where you can translate software, while
Translation Project is a social groups that does translating.
TP website seems to be targeted for unix hackers, where as
Launchpad is targeted to lightly tech savvy humanists. If you
are a die hard GNUnet groupie who wants to translate GNUnet,
you don't need any specific tool or project. You can just get
the po-files from and "do it" with a text editor. ;-)

So Launchpad is not actually a competitor for TP it is just a
tool that TP or anyone else can use to do the actual translating.
It is a collaborative on line po-editor software. It is extremely
user friendly and visual. When you are translating something it
shows you translations that have been used in other projects for
the same thing. It also allows you to write in translations that
you're unsure about and then let someone else confirm them.

This is where the politics come in. As GNUnet is a piece of GNU
project that endorses freedom, it is unclear whether or not using
Launchpad would be politically correct. Launchpad is not entirely
free software. Then again Google is proprietary too, yet lot of
people use it extensively while they are developing software.

If I understood correctly Christian wanted to point out that we
should avoid duplicating efforts. I think the people using TP
resources and the people using Launchpad are different people
and doing the translations at both locations at once would not
eat up resources from GNUnet development.

Imagine a translator who has previously worked in Launchpad on
translating say, gnome-terminal to Hindi. One day he discovers
gnunet-gtk and wants to translate that to Hindi too. He then
notices that you cannot translate gnunet-gtk in Launchpad. Now
there are four things he can choose from:

  1) import gnunet to Launchpad for translation
  2) translate something uninteresting that is available in Launchpad
  3) Find Translation Project on Google and contact them
  4) go watch television and drink beer

Now, my personal intuition says that, not having GNUnet available
for translation in Launchpad greatly increases beer consumption.
And after this I'm starting to think that maybe making GNUnet
translatable from Launchpad is not that bad of an idea after all.

How ever updating translation templates at Launchpad, getting the
translations and merging them to svn requires constant work and it
would probably not be a good idea to have the core GNUnet developers
working on it. So I don't think we should really worry about the
subject until someone just starts to work on the issue. In the
meanwhile "Happy hacking!"


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