We rolled out the entirely end user oriented translation downloads functionality almost three months ago. This time was enough to gather some feedback, look at the new functionality from a more objective standpoint and tweak it to user needs. With localize.drupal.org neatly integrated into drupal.org, it is clear we should put our download functionality first and foremost (as drupal.org projects do). Also pointing into this direction lots of feedback that I got from users and translation teams alike that the duplication of localize.drupal.org teams and drupal.org translation projects is confusing. Therefore I set out to implement some improvements in this area.
Translation teams are moving to localize.drupal.org
There are not many teams not yet migrated to localize.drupal.org, and new teams are only accepted on localize.drupal.org (not as drupal.org projects). We are phasing out the use of drupal.org projects for translations. Why? People found it confusing that some teams also still use the CVS space on drupal.org for translations, and when you look at the Drupal 7 translation status on drupal.org for example, it really is not representative of the work of all the teams. If you look on localize.drupal.org, numerous teams are close to completion, and their downloads are available and ready to use. Doing away with the need to commit .po files to CVS was in fact one of the driving goals of localize.drupal.org. Once we don't do that, all is left for the drupal.org projects is the issue queue. However, that is highly disconnected from the translations themselves, and we could maybe do that better on localize.drupal.org (see below). All-in-all, we are moving all teams to localize.drupal.org now, and you should not keep committing files to CVS anymore (a detailed blog post about this detail coming up).
Usability improvements deployed
There are various interesting changes to the organization of the site, mostly on the welcome and overview pages. Localize.drupal.org got an all new and shinier front page. It now starts off explaining what this site is about and suggests some Drupal software to help integrate yourself with these services. We are back to using the Drupal translation progress stats here, as was requested by many people insted of a giant download table. However, once you pick a language, you get to experience the new drupal.org project like team frontpages.
In an effort to make translations more familiar to people browsing drupal.org projects, we made the translation pages more like drupal.org project pages. The team welcome message is displayed prominently (like drupal.org project descriptions). Team managers can edit this text by editing their group. Then we have Drupal translation downloads and downloads for further 20 top Drupal projects. Localize.drupal.org now knows about the usage stats for projects and picks the top projects based on that. We plan to use this data for other usability improvements, but only introduced it here for now.
The posts that are targeted at contributors now moved to their own tab, called "Board". This is quite a bland listing of posts in the group now, and we plan to come back to this soon and improve on it immensely. Your input is welcome there! We enabled all group managers recently to administer posts and comments in their group, so you can now make posts sticky, remove posts and comments, etc. This was a much requested feature from team managers. However, we still only have "story" posts and wiki pages for teams. I think introducing two new ways to organize your communication would be in order:
- Books! Using books, you could present documentation for newcomers, post your guidelines (even as wiki pages), and structure that in a hierarchical way, if you prefer this organization to wiki networks.
- Discussions (or issues)! Ways to organize your team work on a day to day basis. Think things like assigning work to certain contributors, discussing wording changes, etc. I'm thinking issues would have a status, a person assigned and maybe priority. However, most importantly it would be ideal if we could link issues to strings or sets of strings. Requirements and ideas on how should this be best implemented are welcome.
So the board is supposed to house these four types content for you and let you jump out to review and manage assignments, documentation, etc. That is why we called it a board up front, even though it needs some work to become true to its name.
Finally, there are various smaller usability improvements, like the "join" links on groups now prominently highlighted to drive in contributors, the top contributors becoming a table instead of a bland list, etc.
Help shape the future of localize.drupal.org. Tell us what you think!