[Mailman-i18n] Pootle introduction

Clytie Siddall clytie at riverland.net.au
Thu Jul 3 11:03:11 CEST 2008

Hi everyone :)

Sorry I wasn't able to reply earlier. I'd like to answer some of your  
queries about Pootle.

Firstly, Pootle is a translation tool. I use it in several other i18n  
projects, and find it very helpful, because it gives us _more_  
options, not less.


Your current file(s) are available to you from any web browser, any  
time. The only people who can modify those files are the people who  
have registered and had translation rights assigned by your language  
team admin. You have complete control over what happens to your files.

If you are the Mailman Language Champion for your language, once you  
have registered with Pootle, please email me or Cristóbal with your  
Pootle username, so we can assign you admin rights on Pootle. This  
will mean an "Admin" link will appear next to your Mailman project on  
Pootle. Clicking on this link allows you to assign access rights to  
newly-registered translators.

People who have just registered and confirmed their registration have  
the right to View and Suggest translations, by default. This is a good  
way to introduce inexperienced translators to the task. They can  
Suggest translations (pressing the Suggest button), but not actually  
modify your files. You can login and check their suggestions, and give  
them feedback. More experienced translators can be assigned Translate  
rights, and there are other access rights, all completely under your  
control. Your project (translation of the software into your language)  
belongs to you. Nobody else can modify it in any way, unless you allow  
them to do so.


You can choose the workflow that suits you best: translate online,  
translate offline, or a combination of both. When you modify a file  
offline, you can submit it by uploading it (merge or overwrite) to  
Pootle. This is a much easier way to submit translation files. If you  
don't have upload access, you can simply email your file to your  
language-team leader.

In OpenOffice.org, for example, language teams keep their current  
files on Pootle, but each translator chooses the workflow that suits  
him or her most. Depending on the situation at the time, you might  
have half an hour free, so you can login from a public computer and  
translate some strings. But when you're at home, you may prefer to  
download the file and use your favourite offline translation editor.  
That's fine. Whatever you want to do, the current files will be on  
Pootle, available to you.


Pootle comes with a wide range of pre-installed languages, so you can  
use Pootle in your own language. If your language is new to Pootle,  
all you have to do is email the Pootle admins (Cristóbal or me) and  
ask that we add your language to the server. Cristóbal, the Translate  
Wiki maintains a list of plurals expressions and language codes. [1]

If you would like to translate the Pootle interface to your language,  
please register with the Locamotion Pootle [2] and ask those admins to  
add you to their server. This is the Pootle where development and new  
interface translations occur. (It also hosts the Decathlon translation  
project: check it out. ;) )


The Pootle docs (Docs and Help link, or [3]) contain everything you  
need to know about Pootle, so please read them. However, I'll go on  
with a summary here.

You can download your translation file(s) at any time from your Pootle  
project directory. Look for the "Zip Archive" link at the top of the  
page, to download a whole directory of files, or for the "PO format"  
link next to each file (when you've clicked on Show Editing  
Functions), to download a single file. As you can see, you can  
download your file in different formats.

Barry, if you want to download all the PO files at once, you're better  
off downloading them from bzr. Pootle splits the files into language- 


If you have upload rights, each directory will include a file  
selection field and button in the top right-hand corner of the page.  
You can choose to Merge or Overwrite files. Unless your Pootle server  
is overloaded, you should use Merge, to avoid overwriting changes that  
have occurred since you downloaded your file. The changes are  
processed immediately: you can start editing that merged file as soon  
as you have uploaded it.

Barry, I strongly suggest we keep the most current files on Pootle  
(Mailman 3.0?), even for testing. We can upload all the different  
branches, as well, but our translation effort is best spent working on  
the current files.


Pootle is just a part of your workflow: please backup your work!  
Although Pootle does backup its day's work, it doesn't backup every  
single string as soon as you enter it. This would take up too much of  
its resources. So it's always wise to download your file or directory  
when you finish your editing session. That way, you have a local copy  
of your changes. You can take that away, and edit it offline, then  
merge it back up to Pootle again, later.


Once you click on Show Editing Functions, Pootle will show some links  
next to each file: the most commonly-used ones are:

Quick Translate — translate only blank and fuzzy strings (good for  
Translate All — go through the whole file (good for new translations,  
and for reviews)

For other functions, see the docs. ;)

Once you click on Quick Translate or Translate All, Pootle will take  
you to the first string. You will see buttons:

Back	— go back to the previous string
Ignore — skip this string
Copy — copy the original string into this field (good for formatted or  
complex strings)
Suggest — don't modify the translation, but suggest a change (good for  
new translators and review)
Submit — modify the file by implementing your current translation string

You can also extend or shrink the input field, using the buttons  
Larger and Smaller.

The comment field below is for translator comments, so you can leave  
messages for other translators, or read their messages.

Developer comments and msgctxt contextual information will be shown on  
the left-hand side, with the string header.

Note that Pootle supports syntax highlighting (a user feature-request  
recently implemented): those messy HTML templates from Mailman will be  
much easier to read!


Firstly, please read the introductory docs and try out the interface.  
If you have further questions, you're welcome to ask them here.

Also, each project has its own needs. The Pootle developers welcome  
your suggestions (including feature requests). Each version brings  
enhancements, especially when a new project starts using Pootle.  
Pootle gives us options, and what it learns from us also goes on to  
help others.

Please don't see Pootle as limiting your options in any way. It is  
there to give you more choices. You can go on doing things in exactly  
the way you always have, but simply accessing the current files from  
Pootle. Or you can try out some of Pootle's very useful features.

It's entirely up to you. :)

from Clytie

Vietnamese Free Software Translation Team

[1] http://translate.sourceforge.net/wiki/l10n/pluralforms

[2] http://pootle.locamotion.org/

[3] http://translate.sourceforge.net/wiki/pootle/index
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