Archive for June, 2012

Translation sprint for KDE in Finnish

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

In our sprint website we’re translating the upcoming KDE SC 4.9 release into Finnish. If you know Finnish, you only have to register to start translating: please join us!
We have a simple goal: translate 10,000 new messages and have all the changes proofread and accepted. In two weeks we have translated more than 3,000 messages and the majority of them have been proofread and accepted. We still have about three weeks to go, so your help is needed to increase the output to reach the goal of 10,000 new translations. As a secondary activity we are also proofreading the existing translations and discussing and harmonizing the terminology. For example should filter be suodin or suodatin.

Keep reading if you are interested in how we organized the sprint from a technical perspective.

This is the second translation sprint I’m organizing with the Translate extension. The first one was in March, when we translated Gnome 3.4 into Finnish and this time we are translating KDE 4.9 into Finnish. I can say that the Translate extension fits for this purpose pretty well:

  • You can set up everything in few hours.
  • There are minimal barriers to start using it (we do require registration).
  • It is suitable for novice translators, because they get feedback when other people proofread and correct their translations.

It is not without its issues either, but I see this as a great opportunity to make the MediaWiki Translate extension even better and have it support a variety of use cases. Let me describe some.

Bugs. There are always some bugs. This time I found a regression in the workflow states feature where the recent changes weren’t backwards compatible with the old configuration format. That was quickly fixed and I also submitted fixes for a few minor issues, which were not encountered before. All in all I have 7 local patches, mostly small behaviour changes like the formatting of message keys or showing the message context field to translators. Most of those can be cleaned up and submitted for merging.

Scalability. I had an impression for a long time that the Translate extension scales up pretty well. After all we have thousands of message groups and 50k messages translated into hundreds of languages at translatewiki.net. How naive I was. All of KDE as we use it (stable and trunk branches merged; including playground and extragear, calligra and other related stuff) contains 200k messages. Turns out that our import tools choke when you try to feed them 350k new messages at once (this includes Finnish translations). As a workaround I had to limit the amount of messages that are processed at once and iterate over the whole process multiple times. This is where the bulk of my time was spent. Of course I also ran out of disk space in the middle of the import. It takes about 1G of space, but currently I have only a tiny 10G disk on the server.

Search. The most requested feature is better search. Currently it is not possible to limit the search to a message group nor to see the translation when searching source texts, or the source text when searching for translations. Also it takes a few clicks before you can edit the message from the search results. Building a good search backend is currently on the backlog of the Wikimedia Localisation team, but it is not yet scheduled for any sprint.

Stay tuned for the results of the KDE Finnish translation sprint.

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