A look at the localize.drupal.org numbers, how are we doing?

We started localize.drupal.org back in August 2009 with the intent to provide a more user friendly tool for Drupal interface translators. Many people were frustrated in the CVS account application queue, in the module issue queues trying to get .po files committed, on their own system attempting to generate new translation templates, and so on. Therefore we attempted to automate that all in localize.drupal.org's service.

Initial uptick of translation teams was definitely impressive, and the growth in number of teams slowed down a bit. This is not surprising, the team that were active before are almost all on the central server now and we even enabled lots of new languages to start off. We are at 74 teams now. Let's see some of the details!

The top 15 teams according to membership are Spanish (621 members), French, Hungarian, Portuguese (Brazil), German, Dutch, Czech, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Norwegian Bokmål, Danish, Chinese (Traditional) Portuguese (Portugal), Swedish and Turkish (104 members) in this order.

The top 15 teams according to active translations in the system are German (40024 translations), Hungarian, Danish, Ukrainian, Spanish, French, Japanese, Dutch, Catalan, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazil), Slovak, Norwegian Bokmål and Italian (14050 translations) in this order. There are about 235000 strings to translate in total (for all projects hosted on drupal.org combined).

I was interested in looking at how our suggestion and moderation system worked out. Looks like the number of declined suggestions are not growing much, which is a good sign of quality contributions coming in. The outstanding suggestions bar keeps growing however, while the clear intention is to get those reviewed and approved or declined on a timely manner. We deployed several tools to help the review process as requested by users including better visibility for suggestions, suggestion exports for team members and deep linking to reference one particular source string for discussion and proof-reading in the previous months. Looks like that did not get to break-throughs in taming the growing bar of suggestions.

Looking at a comparision between the number of moderator submitted (and immediately self-approved) translations and community submitted translations (where moderator approval was required to get the string to become an active translation), there is definite growth in community contributions.

Taking a look at the unique contributors per month however, it looks like we have a stable number of about 300 unique translators contributing to all the translation teams each month, and it is not growing at all. This number does not look too impressive. What can we do to grow the number of active translators? There is an effort to add activity stream integration to the localization server, which will hopefully provide more insights into the activity of the community, which is ever important to keep contributors feel involved in something huge!

Recently, the redesign rolled out on drupal.org switched from linking to drupal.org translation projects as the source for translations, and links to localize.drupal.org at all places instead. How come? Localize.drupal.org now has a very stable translation download packaging system. Looking at the packages generated, we aim at having them up to date to at most 7 days ago. A file might have been generated in July, and might still be up to date, if the translators did not modify existing translations or add new translations. The download page now dispalys the "up to date as of" date for files as well as their packaging date. So we have the most up to date translations on offer and integrate submissions and packaging of translations all in one.

On the client (your Drupal site) side, we are working on the Localized Drupal install profile for you to install Drupal localized out of the box without user interation to look up and download translations for core or any contributed module. That profile includes Localization update module, which manages your localizations for each contributed module and theme you have installed and helps you keep up to date with the translation updates.

Ps. just for fun, a sample of the strings receiving most translator attention (suggestions/translations): "This action cannot be undone.", "Enabled", "Disabled", "Operations", "Edit", "Home", "Delete", "Default", "view" and "E-mail".