Tag Archives: gnome-l10n

Not good enough..

So while the world ‘rejoices’ with the release of a state-of-the-art desktop, here I am sobbing at my lonely corner. Bengali-India (bn_IN) goes unsupported for GNOME3.0 as the mandatory 80% string count was not met. Among many other reasons, here’s one that I noticed pretty late.

The damned lies statistics page was redone to display a reduced number of strings. So teams, could choose to avoid unnecessary strings and work on the ones that would be more prominent on the user interface. Thats good news. Both the total and reduced string statistics for the user interface are now displayed on the status pages. However, what somehow escaped my notice is that the ‘reduced’ string count percentage on the front page (80%)…,

…differs from the number on the Ui-part page (76%)

As a result, while I was quite happy to move on to some other pressing matters with a supported status under the belt, turns out the joke’s on me this time.

Instead of the arbitrary string count statistics as a criteria for  Supported Status, personally I’d rather like something on the lines of what KDE marks as the ‘Essential Packages’. Friedel explains it much better though.

So until the time GNOME decides to rethink on its Supported Status criteria, I guess I’ll just need to gear up to face the string nazi for v 3.2

xdg-user-dirs-gtk related ‘bug’

The other day I was playing around my Fedora 12 box to check some widget alignments and came across this interesting ‘bug’ related to the updation of the default directories in the user’s home. The directories ‘Desktop’, ‘Downloads’, ‘Templates’, ‘Public’, ‘Documents’, ‘Music’ and ‘Pictures’ are automatically present in the user’s home directory and these names can be translated in the xdg-user-dirs module. If the xdg-user-dirs-gtk module is installed, everytime a user logs into a new language interface from the gdm a dialog is presented prompting the user if she would like to rename these directories to the translated version. If she chooses to rename, then after logging in she would get these folders in the language she chose for the current session. Next time, when the same or another user chooses a different language while logging into another session, the prompt reappears and the user can again choose to rename the folders into their choice of language for the session. Rinse repeat.

The catch here is that the translation of these folders have to be present for this dialog prompt to be displayed. In the earlier example, if there were no translations of these folders in user2’s choice of language, the dialog prompt would not have been displayed. This would result in user2 being stuck with (in all probability) incomprehensible folder names from user1’s session. The solution here is to revert back to the more conventionally accepted standard English names. The process of reverting involves, logging out from the session and logging into the English session, choose to rename the folders into English from the displayed dialog prompt and then logging back again into a session with the preferred choice of language.

A probable solution to avoid this situation, is perhaps to display the dialog prompt for languages that do not have translations, with an option to rename them back to English. The other probable solution can be, to automatically rename them to English if there are no translations. The latter is the standard procedure for untranslated portions of UI messages.

This is particularly important for languages that are written in non-latin scripts like the CJKI languages. Since the folders are actually moved, writing their names would become difficult from the console. On the other hand, if they choose to not translate then renaming them back to English would require an user to go through the hoops mentioned earlier.

Since blog is not a bug, so one exists here (would have helped around if I had the skills). I hope I am not missing any existing solutions that are already present for this issue. Thoughts?

Of many things and one

Long time since this page saw some activity. *sigh*. This could have been a post of many things, like:

  • How stress induced fatigue (my dad’s words not mine) caused me to sleep for nearly 36 hours at a stretch
  • The updates to the Gnome Mango system done by Olav Vitters and account system documentation done by Christian Rose has made things so easy for us translators
  • The mad rush for KDE 4.1 Translations
  • The LC Python workshop conducted by Ramkrsna at our office in Pune. Rahul Sundaram followed up with a talk on contributing opportunities in Fedora
  • Our new car
  • The huge power and water shortage that happened in Pune and messed up our daily schedules
  • The much-delayed fun trip to Mumbai and about the time spent with Barkha and her family, the ride on the deccan queen, boat ride to elephanta, visit to mahesh lunch home, getting soaked in the rain at Juhu beach, riding back to Pune in an ambassador taxi amidst pouring rain
  • My views on why overt channel admins (the pronounced green medals, not the access lists) on irc channels in some open-source projects creates unwanted hierarchical levels.
  • Mozilla 3.0.2 translation sprint. Am waiting for a few bug responses at the moment, but hopefully that should not stop the inclusion of bn-IN this time.

    But then let me talk about something thats really much more important. The other day Ani showed me the search feature on the KDE Translation Project website, that allows searching of a term/string in translated content. The setup in this case gets the content from a selected directory of the svn, runs a query for the search string and presents the output results (string and its translated version) with direct link to the source documents. A database is also involved somewhere in between the process.

    So a few of us were talking about having a similar tool that would allow us to search strings on user-defined content locations and present the strings with the search items, corresponding translated content and pointers to the source document. And so evolved Translation-Filter, by Kushal. A nifty little tool, that does just what we need. Its still being worked upon, but at the moment what you can do with it is:

  • Define a custom location with multiple .po files
  • Provide a string to search in the defined location
  • Get an output with the original english string containing the search item,corresponding translated string and the source file name
  • Provide a list of strings to search via a plain text file
  • Save search results as .html pages
  • Use the tool from the command line and a basic GUI dialog box

    The project is a part of Fedora already and Kushal has packaged it.

    At this moment the benefits look huge. Primarily it will allow us to ensure consistency of bn-IN translated content across projects (the ones using .po files at the very least). Perhaps (as Sayam thinks) very soon we can make a web-based version of it too. So right now… kushal++ 😀

  • Gnome Mango – Some answers

    I had made a post last week about the problems that quite a few of us were facing with Mango. Finally, after a lot of discussion on the gnome-i18n Mailing list, the missing bits of information came forth from Olav.

    To summarize it:

    For any language, not listed in the New Account Request interface on Mango, please send a mail to accounts at gnome dot org with the specifics of the case. A language can be missing from the Mango interface in any of the following cases:

  • Team co-ordinator does not have an account – it is mandatory for the team co-ordinator to have an account, to get listed on the New Account page. Since the co-ordinator has to vouch for new accounts within the team
  • A new team – Since the co-ordinator her/himself has to get an account to get listed on the page.
  • Error – Happens

    The current documentation does not mention these cases and their solutions. I would not mind lending a hand in here, if the suggested editing requires for volunteers. (Its a wiki but given the special nature of information, its best to wait for an approval.)

    However there is a small catch in all of this. The accounts at gnome dot org, queue handling also sees period of inactivity. Hence, perhaps that bit might need a little attention.

    Thanks to everyone for the clarifications and help. Also, hope everyone has a good party at GUADEC. (Maybe next year I can make it to the GUADEC+aKademy event)

  • Bitter Mango

    Dear Lazyweb,

    I have been stuck with a problem for quite sometime now. The new account system for getting Gnome SVN accountsMango – behaves a bit oddly at times. The following are the problems that I have seen happening in the past:

    #1: There was no option to request an account as a Translator. It got fixed eventually.
    #2: A voucher is required for a Translator, when she/he requests for an svn account. The voucher is essentially the Translation Team co-ordinator and to ensure that happens, the person requesting the account has to select the Translation Team from a dropdown menu in the New Accounts page. Sounds easy? Well not exactly, if your team is not present in the dropdown list.
    #3: So up next, one has to file a bug against Mango to get the team listed.
    #4: The team is not listed on the dropdown menu if the Team’s coordinator does not have an account. Pretty valid. But then how does the co-ordinator request an account, if Mango is the way and the language team will not be listed until she/he actually has an account. Chicken-egg….gaah!
    #5: And even if the co-ordinator does have an account, things might not be all that rosy. ( Kannada, Gujarati, Bengali-India have valid co-ordinators with existing accounts. In case of Kannada, the account stopped working for Pramod one fine day. Marathi has a somewhat similar situation.)

    To be honest, I am completely frustrated. It is understandable, that with limited number of volunteer sysadmins things might run slow. However, the complaints need to be addressed some way or the other. Here in India, most of the language groups are close to each other and the problems come across too starkly.

    I don’t know if anyone from Gnome actually reads my mails to the mailing list (most linked above). I was really hoping that someone who could help out would read these words and do something about it. It would be much appreciated around here.


    Gnome Documentation – Terminology Recommendation Announcement

    Shaun McCance has sent in an announcement about the Terminology revamping project that is being undertaken for Gnome Documentation styleguide. Everyday a term (or a group of related terms) would be sent to the gnome-docs list for discussion. Once a consesus is reached on the terms, the Completed List would be created. Eventually, the list would also contain language recommendations for both Gnome Documentation and User Interfaces.

    A rough list of the terms is can be found here. This list has been collated from various documents.

    <quote from Shaun’s mail>

    For the curious, my plan is to change the GNOME Documentation Style Guide to something more like the GNOME Manual of Style. That is, it will contain language recommendations for both documentation and user interfaces. There may be sections that deal specifically with documentation, if needed, but the core of the document will not be documentation-specific.


    Sounds like a great idea, towards standardizing the terminology base.

    Translating Strings with Plural forms in .po files

    Claude Paroz reported on the gnome-i18n mailing list today about the msgfmt errors that were showing up on the damned lies page against some files in a few languages. Bengali_India also has a few red medallions and the problem was baffling me since msgfmt checks on the files locally were not showing any errors. It was only after submitting them to the Gnome svn that the msgfmt error messages were showing up. After discussions on the gnome-i18n mailing list and irc conversations, the following seems the correct solution for plural form related errors for languages that do not have any plural forms.

    Open .po file in a text editor (like gedit) and insert the following line in the header section:

    “Plural-Forms: nplurals=1; plural=0;\n”

    should look like this:

    Once you encounter a string with a plural form there are two ways to go about it.

    1. If both the strings contain a variable (like %d) indicating a number, then the translation can be done as per the language requirements for handling single and plural numbers. e.g.

    msgid “%d file has been modified”
    msgstr_plural “%d files have been modified”
    msgstr [0] “”
    msgstr [1] “”

    In this case, after translation the string should look like the following in a text editor:

    msgid “%d file has been modified”
    msgid_plural “%d files have been modified”
    msgstr [0] “%d-টি ফাইল পরিবর্তন করা হয়েছ “

    Note: The %d has been retained in the msgstr.

    2. The second way is the more important of the two and requires caution. If the singular version string does not have a variable, but the plural string contains a variable, then the translation of only the plural string has to be done. e.g.

    msgid “one file has been modified”
    msgstr_plural “%d files have been modified”
    msgstr [0] “”
    msgstr [1] “”

    In this case, after translation the string should look like the following in a text editor:

    msgid “one file has been modified”
    msgstr_plural “%d files have been modified”
    msgstr [0] “%d-টি ফাইল পরিবর্তন করা হয়েছ “

    Note: The %d has to be present in the msgstr and will take the relevant number of “files modified” when the program encounters such a situation.

    Also note, in both cases above the msgstr [1] “” has to be manually removed from the strings.

    As a final check, please do ensure that the following command does not throw any errors:

    msgfmt -vc -o /dev/null (filename.po)

    For more information about plural-forms this document is extremely helpful.

    Gnome Translation Accounts

    Getting a translator account in the gnome repository was comparitively pretty easy earlier on. One had to get a nod from the Language Team coordinator and send in the request to the gnome sysadmin team along with the ssh public keys.

    Currently, the new account system has moved to mango.gnome.org. All very nice, until you want to get an account for translation only. The form has a drop down box at the very end that says “Translation Team”, which sadly does not have any listings that one can choose from. So that stops translation accounts being made on Mango. On the other hand the old system is in a limbo and people who had submitted requests for accounts are waiting on the tickets that were automatically generated for them. The kannada team has been seeing some trouble since the past 2-3 months. Eventually, Pramod had to send in a request for help on kannada translation submissions by other account holders.

    I had sent in a mail about this to the gnome-i18n list and looks like a few others are also waiting for some feedback on this (from the Accounts team).