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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: About the Former Native Language projects
Date Sun, 11 Dec 2011 00:44:16 GMT
On Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 7:21 PM, Ross Gardler
<> wrote:
> On 11 December 2011 00:13, Rob Weir <> wrote:
>> On Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 7:11 PM, Ross Gardler
>> <> wrote:
>>> On 11 December 2011 00:02, Rob Weir <> wrote:
>>>> On Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM, Louis R Suárez-Potts <>
>>> ...
>>>>> Now to the present issue. I've written that I would rather focus here,
in Apache land, on coding. But that only opens the door, as it were, to establishing the very
successful Native Language modules either in another wing of Apache (??) or outside the Apache
frame but corresponding to it, so that QA, a key element of the NL projects, for instance,
could be tied in. Licenses, etc., would have to be harmonised. And I'd also suggest using
a simpler work medium, such as wikis.
>>>>> I think some of this is already going on but it is not clear to me *what*
is going on or where. I'm not alone. I have received several pings on this very question,
and I'd like to move on it.
>>>> I can see several models that could work:
>>> All good options...
>>>> You hint at another option.  I'm not sure it would work, but let's
>>>> list it for sake of argument:
>>>> 4. NL projects are individually proposed as their own podlings.  Their
>>>> charter would be for them to produce localizations of AOO.  But they
>>>> would be autonomous PMC's within Apache, with their own website,
>>>> mailing lists, etc.
>>> Why do you feel this would this not work?
>> You have many Gaelic or Vietnamese-speaking mentors?
> Fair point, although it is reasonable to expect that many of the
> people involved will be bi-lingual at least (otherwise how can they
> translate). Option 4 should not be ruled out (and you didn't do so), I
> was just wondering what the source of your reservations was.

So a few other ways this doesn't quite fit a podling, as currently practiced:

1) Ability to find mentors, as mentioned above.

2) Ability of our infrastructure to handle non-ASCII collaboration.
We've already seen, in our small attempt to have some Japanese NL work
in this project, that Roller was not allowing Japanese text and that
the SpamAssassin flags every attempted post to the Japanese language
list as spam.  I'd expect some work would be needed in several areas.
But once done, this work would benefit others who attempt something
similar.  So not a bad thing to try.  But I'd anticipate initial
challenges of this kind.

3) Technical skills needed to produce a release.  To get through the
ceremony of cutting a release at Apache requires someone understand
things ranging from SVN tagging to GPG signing.  Translators are not
coders.  Their expertise is on the linguistic side.  They are not
command-line people.  You might be lucky and have someone who can also
be comfortable with these things, but it would not be guaranteed.

4) The efforts can be very small in some cases.  How do you get three
+1's for a release if there are only 2 people in your project?

5) Growing the community of developers is hard.  Once you've
translated 100% of the GUI strings, then what?  Translate them again,
better?  And then better again?  Put differently, the work of
translation is finite and does not give much room for growth.
However, on the other, non-release side of NL projects, the outreach
to users, the website, etc., there is much room for growth.

5) This creates a quasi-umbrella project.  Since translations are not
usable separate from the core AOO code, these other new projects would
be necessarily tied to the features and the schedule of AOO, assuming
they are not forking the code itself.  I've heard general unease with
umbrella projects at Apache.

But if we are willing to dream, you could imagine a kind of umbrella
project, not of code modules, but of user-facing interactions, where
autonomous groups within Apache maintained localized user-facing
pages, wikis, user lists, support forums, etc.   TLP might be too
heavy weight for this, since we have potentially many dozens of these,
and their releases would consist of translated strings that are only
useful when installed with AOO.  The non-release activities of the
project would clearly be their focus.  So this is something I don't
think we've seen at Apache in a TLP.   (We see them in foundation
projects, but this is not that).  Rather than squeeze it into an
existing mold, maybe it needs a new something?


> Ross
> --
> Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
> Programme Leader (Open Development)
> OpenDirective

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