At the end of March, when the Google Summer of Code 2011 Drupal group was in an idea collection phase, I've posted two suggestions: Expose Drupal translation activity and Gettext API for Drupal contrib and core. The first one involved tapping into the huge hidden activity that happens on localize.drupal.org. To quote from my suggestion:
Due to technical and scalability reasons the site uses custom code to provide translation of 7000 modules and about 20000 releases of these modules. Each release is parsed and ends up in the database of the site which results in almost 270000 strings to translate. That's a lot of stuff! Now add up that we have almost 100 languages and each string can have any number of suggestions for any language. Finally, each of these suggestions have their own "commit" history with data on who submitted them, when, via which method (multiple sources supported with a remote API in the mix), when was it approved, declined and approved again by whom and when, and so on. So you can consider this a 3 dimensional version control system in a database (version control per strings * languages * suggestions).
Now since this is all stored in this form, the activity happening is pretty "invisible". Moderators and fellow translators see little of this activity. Some teams use a wiki page to list things they work on, informing moderators that new stuff is available to review. Without that, reviewers can only look actively for stuff to review, which is tedious. Its a definite characteristic of communities online and offline that seeing the momentum, the activity and work being done energizes others and moves them to contribute more. So exposing all this information in natural and automated ways is crucial.
I'm happy to report that the immense task to expose all this activity with activity streams and graphs was taken on by a Hungarian student named Ádám Lippai, who is going to work on the project this summer. It should be an interesting mix of working on the drupal.org testing/staging environments, Hudson, our localization data storage and exposing the data changes in a meaningful way on the UI.
I'd like to thank both Ádám for signing up and the Google Summer of Code program for financing the project. This should really help take localize.drupal.org to another level.
Ps. Check out the other accepted projects at http://drupal.org/node/1139168 - note that we also have a project to work on activity exposure on drupal.org projects, so there'll be even more of this type of work on the site. Also, I'm still looking for people to work with on Gettext API for contrib and core (although no financing attached), as it should be part of efforts to improve multilingual support even further in Drupal 8.