[Translators-l] Ready for early translation: Tech News summary #29

Tomasz W. Kozlowski tomasz at twkozlowski.net
Sun Jul 21 11:50:43 UTC 2013

thank you for your e-mail and apologies for such a belated reply.

Your message touches on a variety of subjects, so I'm going to answer 
them very briefly, hoping that other people might also want to get 
involved at some point. I'm afraid that you might have confused some 
things and mentioned subjects that are outside of our (mine or 
Guillaume's) control.

Firstly, we have never used any bots to notify translators about the 
issue being finished (and frozen); there are too many people subscribed 
to translation notifications on Meta, and Tech News isn't (yet) 
important enough to contact them all on their talk pages. Moreover, 
issue #29 was frozen on Saturday, and my last e-mail about it was sent 
that day; I don't know what notification you received on Monday but it 
certainly did not come from me or Guillaume.

Secondly, e-mail notifications are one of the things that lie outside of 
our control. I am aware that the Wikimedia mailing system can deliver 
some notifications late, but there shouldn't be any problems with this 
mailing list; I at least receive all messages almost immediately, even 
though I'm using a private e-mail provider. Can you clarify what you 
have in mind? Are these problems about e-mails coming from 
<wiki at wikimedia.org> or from this mailing list 
(<translators-l at lists.wikimedia.org>)?

Thirdly, we are aware of time zone differences and issues that stem from 
them; however, the 24 hours we give translators to translate the 
newsletter seem to be just enough, and most of the localized versions 
are ready long before we send them out. There are currently no plans to 
extend the translation period beyond those 24 hours; I don't want to fix 
something that ain't broken.

As far as your schedule suggestions are considered, I'm afraid that they 
are completely out of touch with the reality. It is absolutely 
impossible for us to prepare future issues four weeks in advance, as we 
report news that have already happened and some that are due to happen. 
Of the ten issues published so far, the only topics that were repeated 
are (1) MediaWiki updates every week and (2) Universal Language Selector 
roll-out; even the widely announced VisualEditor roll-out schedule got 
changed a couple of times. And for those messages that are repeated 
every week, you can use translation memory and import translations with 
one click of your mouse.

The suggestion to prepare the newsletter seven days in advance is also 
unrealistic; such outdated news would be of little or no value for the 
community. I am not sure how much you know about the way that 
configuration or software changes are submitted and deployed on 
Wikimedia wikis; perhaps you ought to have a look at Gerrit some time to 
see that is impractical (and sometimes useless) to test them all on a 
beta cluster somewhere and prepare 'documentation' for them.

Lastly, I am very sorry to hear that you think we (I) don't 'like edits 
to the English original'. We do appreciate all efforts and edits made to 
the page before it is frozen; edits that come after the issue is 
published we try to keep to a minimum as not to give our translators 
unnecessary work. I'm also afraid that your last paragraph is completely 
untrue; we monitor talk pages of all issues as well as the main talk 
page at [[m:Talk:Tech/News]] and respond to feedback as soon as possible.

In general, I think that you address your feedback to the wrong people; 
Tech News is a small initiative driven by two (2) volunteers; it is 
impossible for us to influence the way that the Wikimedia Foundation, 
volunteer extensions developers or other Gerrit users develop software 
and implement configuration changes.

Your suggestions would be good for a world in which every software 
changes are planned long in advance, are beta-tested for some time, get 
proper documentation in English and give time for users to translate 
them into their languages. With the current resources in software 
development and translation communities that we have, it is impossible 
to do and can only be considered wishful thinking, and I'm afraid it 
will not come into reality for a very long time (if ever).


More information about the Translators-l mailing list