Localize.drupal.org downloads getting stable

Just last week, I've decided to finally document the current download methods for translations coming from localize.drupal.org at http://localize.drupal.org/download. We've set up translation packaging earlier this year and let it run while being monitored for tweaking. We found that we can run the packaging as often as every 5 minutes and with allowance to generate as many as a hundred .po files per run. With these numbers in mind, we can generate 100*12 = 1200 files per hour.

Localization server backend updated

Our last major update to localize.drupal.org was about two months ago, bringing in a whole new user interface for translation and easier navigation and collaboration. Since that was a big user interface change and needed some time to settle, I switched gears to work on the backend of the system. The ultimate goal is to get our main backend module called Localization server as general purpose as possible.

Localize.drupal.org relaunches with updated look, new functionality

As I've blogged about this before, work on localize.drupal.org's improved functionality was going on heavily in the past weeks. We launched a staging site with interface improvements almost a month ago, and kept adding small improvements on top of that.

Given all the great feedback on the new user interface, it was time to finally launch it on the live site. Here is a rundown of the most important improvements.

Planned downtime on localize.drupal.org, 8am-10am UTC, March 17, 2010

We are going to perform some exciting updates on localize.drupal.org tomorrow, on March 17th, 2010, from 8am to 10am UTC (expected). In this timeframe, all of localize.drupal.org services will be down and inaccessible. None of the other drupal.org sites are affected, the main site, groups, api, etc. will be fully functional. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused, and thank you for your understanding.

More improvements on the staging site, feedback is still welcome

I've announced our staging site for localize.drupal.org two weeks ago, and some people did take on the opportunity to test out the site and provided valuable feedback. Fixes and improvements are rolled out continually on the site. Since the staging site was set up with a completely revamped user interface to translate text, the following changes made their way onto the staging site:

Come and test drive the latest user interface improvements for localize.drupal.org

Test drive with us!

We suggest you read the details and tips here, but if you'd like to go ahead and try this out now, just go to http://localize.staging.drupal.org, enter drupal/drupal for the HTTP authentication prompt when requested, then log in with your drupal.org username and password and play around. Have fun and provide us feedback! Thanks for your help.

Looking back a bit

The main translation user interface of localize.drupal.org as we know it today is a result of collaboration between myself and the amazing Young Hahn of Development Seed. His work with the user interface covered making a previously unsexy interface more appealing and useful. However, given how early that was done, we did not know the actual user scenarios of language teams having contributors of all levels.

Looking at the issue queues, the most pressing problem on localize.drupal.org is the "uncontrollable" flow of suggestions. Of course you can call this the success of our web based translation interface. There is a huge number of suggestions coming in. If you look at the numbers, we have over 300.000 translations recorded and over 100.000 suggestions as well in the system. So 25% of the active text in our database is not yet approved or declined.

I've got various requests of both translators and moderators to the effect that the translation user interface is inadequate to handle the suggestions. The UI is very inviting to submit new suggestions, but the existing ones are hidden behind a little hardly visible star:

Additionally, if you click on the suggestion star, the original translation is hidden, so you cannot tell the difference between the two or more pieces of text. Clearly, both to handle existing suggestions and submit new ones, seeing the current translation with all the suggestions listed makes processing the community submissions much easier.

Drupal 7 Alpha 1 available for translation

Drupal 7 Alpha 1 was just announced, while its tarball and release notes page was already available before. Because the package was up earlier today, localize.drupal.org's robot already went ahead and parsed the first Drupal 7 package source code. This means that now you are able to start work on the translation on the localize.drupal.org interface.

You can find out about the amount of new and changed strings (which are numerous) by going to your language team page (pick your language team and type Drupal on the front page of localize.drupal.org). Then on the translation page shown, pick the first 7.0 alpha from the release dropdown. With the landing of Drupal 7, you'll also notice the appearance of the context filter. Drupal 7 now supports contexts, so the translation of "May" can be different when in the "Long month name" context when it is translated without context (which assumed to be the short month name version). Watch for more use of contexts in the contributed module and theme space!

While Drupal 7's first alpha is intended to be generally stable in terms of UI text, translators are good in finding errors, omissions and outdated text. So do not consider this mass of text the absolute final version of Drupal 7's user interface.

If you went through previous major Drupal releases before, you might miss a crucial feature on localize.drupal.org, namely "fuzzy matching" of previous strings. When some text was only slightly changed, this fuzzy matching could offer the previous translation as a suggestion to help you start off with the translation. This is a great feature of several Gettext tools. Unfortunately we did not yet implement this due mostly to performance constraints. However, Hilde Austlid (aka zirvap) wrote up a nice summary for you on how you can do this with helper tools outside of localize.drupal.org to help you bootstrap your Drupal 7 translations. Merging in previous versions of the CCK, FileField, Imagefield, and other, now core-integrated modules is a genuinely useful tip. Many of the "new" strings in Drupal 7 are modifications or straight copies of text carried over from integrated contributed modules. While localize.drupal.org will pick up the straight copies, the slight modifications it will treat as completely different strings, so this msgmerge trick can be very useful.

Let us know if you find issues translating Drupal 7 (or any other problems on localize.drupal.org for that matter), our having issues page explains where to submit your problems or requests.

Performance improvements deployed, update code being worked on, more hands needed on UI

In the past several days, I've been working on several bugfixes and performance improvements, preparing the site for the imminent landing of Drupal 7's first alpha release, which will also be the first tarball version of Drupal 7 and mark the string freeze stage of development on this latest Drupal version. What that means, is you might start flooding the site exporting and importing .po files as well as generally scramble to translate Drupal 7 and beat other language teams to it.

Update on string freeze, translatability of Drupal 7

Angie Byron, co-maintainer for Drupal 7 just published the target date for the first alpha release of Drupal 7. While the UI / string freeze for Drupal 7 was scheduled for 2008 November and then 2008 December previously, work is still ongoing to complete the overhaul of help text and menu items in some places. The new target date for text / UI changes is January 15, 2010. The first Drupal 7 alpha release is planned for that day, from when it should be available on localize.drupal.org for translation. Small text changes will still be allowed if related to critical bugfixes, but the plan as communicated by Angie is that otherwise we can consider the text in Drupal 7 frozen on that date.

[...] the plan is to treat Drupal 7 as a stable release from the first alpha, so that means no string fixes that don't fix bugs, same as Drupal 5 & 6.

Read more in her post titled Drupal 7.0 Alpha 1: Coming soon to a downloads page near you!

More granular group permission control deployed

Thanks to work done by Daniel Wehner, Konstantin Kaefer, Daniel F. Kudwien and myself, today I've deployed improvements to permission control in translation groups. Previously we had two levels of users: group administrators and group members. Group members could suggest, import and export and administrators could approve suggestions (and manage group members). To be able to approve suggestions, one needed to hand out group administration permissions to people (which allowed them greater control over the group, not just the approval process). It was also brought up several times, that allowing administrators to approve their own suggestions (or directly submit translations) might not be desired in some groups. We had a possibility to set groups to all open (where everybody is a moderator as well) or to use this controlled model.

Starting from today, we have more granular permissions available and they are handed out on the group level thanks to our new use of the 4.x branch of Organic Groups User Roles module. Permissions related to translations are not anymore related to group administration status; these are now two distinct concepts. The overly generic open and controlled group permission models which were previously available are now obsoleted by this more granular system. Let's see the changes detailed for different types of users.


Subscribe with RSS Subscribe to RSS - Drupal planet