Happy New Multilingual Year!

If you’ve watched Neverendingo’s awesome video you will have seen how the activity on UserBase suddenly ran wild, when the Translate extension came into being.  We regularly get new translators registering on UserBase, and more recently translators for TechBase are signing up.  It’s clear that we have a dedicated core of translators, but beyond that we had no indication of other activity.  With this in mind, I set out to investigate.


So, what do we learn from that?

  • A few dedicated people have translated a considerable number of pages to a very high degree.  Bear in mind that there is no indication of how long any translator has been working.  There is at least one example of a fairly new translator that has done a great deal of work in a short time.
  • There are a surprising number of pages translated to between 31% and 79%.
  • It appears that some translators work hard on a few pages only, maybe for a particular project.
  • Sadly, there are a few people that sign up, often for one of the less well-known languages, but do little or no translating.

It should also be noted that LTR (left-to-right) languages have not been well supported in Mediawiki, although there is some progress with this, which goes some way to explain lack of pages in those languages.

And what of TechBase?

Translation on TechBase is much newer.  It’s not always relevant to translate pages, particularly if they are written for use by a small, one-language team.  It’s encouraging, though, to see regular contributions to translations.  Here are the statistics for TechBase:

So finally, I want to thank everyone for this tremendous effort, and let’s make 2013 even greater!

And don’t forget – UserBaseLogo


Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , , ,

Not dead, only sleeping!

It’s not quite “Goodbye!”

I’ve been very quiet for the last 6 months.  I had hoped that by now things
would have got back to normal, but it isn’t so, and there is little sign that
it will do for the foreseeable future.


Storm waves batter Blackpool Promenade

Storm waves batter Blackpool Promenade – the image that feels like my life at the moment

Early in May it became apparent that my family responsibilities were
increasing, and in fact they have increased massively so that I have little
time for any of my own interests.  As a result I’ve had to make some hard
decisions.  I’ve cut down considerably on the number of mailing lists that I
follow – that alone has made quite a difference.  Reluctantly, because I feel
guilty about it, I’ve left most of the UserBase work to Claus_chr and Yurchor.

What I have managed, and what I hope to continue to do until things change, is
regular checks for spammers on all three wikis (though Yurchor often gets there
before me!).  I’ve signed up more translators – which is great to see.  What’s
really missing is new stuff – new pages, and improvements that we planned to do over this year’.  Claus_chr is left pretty well working on his own on that level, so if you have any time to spare and are willing to work in Mediawiki,
please contact him on #kde-www or use the UserBase email facility to speak to him.

I’m still hoping that gradually things will calm down.  Who knows?  I might
even manage to keep Digikam fans up to date with Dmitri Popov’s blogs.
Whatever happens, I’m not dead, only sleeping, as the saying goes.

Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , , ,

Any Questions?

When we added Questy Capture to our wikis the amount of spam dropped dramatically, but to be efficient we need many questions, used randomly.  We do have a few, but it would help to have a few more.  Today a single spammer hit both UserBase and TechBase.  Of course a determined human spammer is hard to defeat, but bots find this method quite difficult to beat.

A simple definition of a good question –

  • the answer must be simple enough for any interested person to know AND not language or culture dependent OR
  • the question must refer to something actually on the registration page display (which can include sidebar or footer)

Send your suggestions (including answers, multiple if appropriate)  to kde-www AT kde DOT org

Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , ,

Moving On…

In June 2011 the Translate extension came to TechBase. Since then 51 people
have registered to translate pages, and 47 pages have been translated within
the new system.

Why the emphasis on the new system?

The old system relied on contributors manually monitoring pages in their language. There was no tool to make it easy for them to know when changes were necessary, so maintaining the pages was difficult if not impossible. The key to all this is, as Niklas and Claus said at Akademy, “Don’t waste Translators’ time!”.

Two months ago I gave warning that we would start to move things on after the
end of June. Now it’s time to ask your help in getting a leaner and meaner
TechBase, one where the information presented is correct to date, and easy to
maintain in as many languages as possible. To start the process, all the old language bars have been removed from their pages, but are, for now, available lined from http://techbase.kde.org/OldLinks

Don’t Panic!
No pages have been deleted – you can still access them

All old translated pages are still available, using the old-style address, i.e. …/Welcome_to_KDE_TechBase_(lang.code). I need you to tell me whether those pages are current and correct. This is how I propose we proceed:

  1. Identify pages which should be archived – projects now discontinued,including KDE 3 projects, whose pages are not actively used now, but should bekept for historical reasons. These will not be deleted – they will still be available by searching. They will simply have the name Archive:OldFilename.
  2. Identify pages which are so out of date and misleading, where it would be easier to delete and start afresh. If a re-write is needed, please indicate ifyou are willing to help in that.
  3. Identify pages which are good and should be translated, but do not yet have any new-style translation bar or “Translate this page” link. With such a list we can prepare those pages for translation.

To help organise this, I have created two new pages – Pages for Deletion and Pages for Translation.

With your help we can make Techbase a better place for new contributors to visit.

What happens to the old Language Bars?

Using the OldLinks pages, we can monitor how far we have got in updating the translations. Once a page’s i18n bar shows nothing but redlinks, it can be removed. It has no further purpose.

For the rest, with existing translations, any pages that are seen to have a newer translation can be deleted as obsolete. Where no newer translations currently exist, feedback on whether someone is willing to fix the translation, or even on whether the old translation is close to the current English page, would be very helpful.

Eventually we will decide that we can do no more with those old pages, and they will be deleted. This will not happen before the end of August, to give all contributors time to make decisions.

Now it’s over to you.  Let’s make TechBase the great resource it really can be.

Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , ,

Working the wikis at Desktop Summit

UserBase Logo  



What are your issues with our wikis?

What drives you mad?

What would float your boat?

Whatever the issues, come and talk to me at Desktop Summit.  I’ll be on IRC, #kde-www as much as I can be, and I’ll happily join you in a face-to-face brainstorming session for solving your wiki problems.  See you in Berlin!






Written by annew in: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Today, Tomorrow and Beyond…. – Part 2

So in Part 1 we looked at where we are now, but what of the future?

That’s where we need your help. What can we do to improve the system to meet your needs? Comments here are welcome, but I suspect that we need a greater discussion.

In the first place I’d really like to meet some people from the docbook team and some from the i18n team, together with anyone else who is interested in progressing their own projects in this way. I would suggest that we book some BoF time and space in Berlin, and have our face-to-face meeting, and it would be possible to follow that up with an IRC session so that those who can’t be in Berlin can hear about our discussions and add their input.

So, here’s the question – Are you willing to help us get things rocking? Let me know, and we’ll look for a session time.

By the way – if you are interested in exploring UserBase’s stats further, you can find the full set in a sortable table at http://userbase.kde.org/User:Annew/LangStats

Written by annew in: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Today, Tomorrow and Beyond…. – Part 1

This week I was asked whether it was possible to draw statistics on the status of translations of UserBase pages.  In fact it’s very easy to see the status of languages on specific pages.  The language bar shows, beside each language name, a small box, indicating roughly the status.  Hover over it and you will see what percentage of “strings” or “messages” have been translated into that language.  This, though, was not what the speaker was looking for.  If there is any way of getting a status report for every page in every language, I haven’t found it.  When you consider how big that would be, it probably isn’t even sensible to look for it.  Meanwhile, though, I do have some interesting stats for you.  All the stats were gathered on the 28th July.

First we have the four most active languages over the past month:

Of course those four are not the only ones with a good score of contribution.  Here is the Roll of Honour:


The Roll of Honor

You’d think that the languages with the highest number of translated strings might have a large team – and you couldn’t be more wrong.  Team size has little correlation with output, as the next table shows:

Number in Translation Team

Of course, a more realistic measure of activity is to look at how recently the work was done:

Days since the last edit of a language

Worryingly, though, look at the reverse of that:

Have we lost these translators?

So – Where are we Now?

While there is always room for more, I’m happy that we are steadily increasing our translations on UserBase.  On Techbase, the system is still very new, and before it can be as useful as we would like there needs to be some concensus as to which pages can usefully be translated.  I suspect that a glance at the footer, where the “last edited” date is visible, would give some clear hints for some pages, yet there are others where what was written five years ago is still valid and needs no change.  Clearly, then, only the people who know a particular project or process can make that decision.

We have made considerable effort to get a useful system.  For instance, the markup described in our help pages has grown out of long discussions with Blueck and Yurchor, and at times other translators too.

  • The system happily allows translators to work with the off-line tools that are familiar, if that is the wish.
  • We have a HowTo for ensuring that your pages are capable of being created in Docbook format at http://userbase.kde.org/How_To_Convert_a_UserBase_Manual_to_Docbook
  • We are close to having a customisable “Create a Book” where the user can select the pages that are helpful to his own interests and create a .pdf format booklet.

The Next Step?

Read Part 2!

Written by annew in: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Coming to a wiki near you!

UserBase Logo

A week ago Translate came to Techbase.  Since then we have been busy adding pages to help you get started, complete with a bunch of sidebar links. At the moment there are just 23 pages ready for translation.  How many more pages get translated is really up to you.

Why would you care?

TechBase gets some 65,000 unique visitors each month (UserBase gets ~100,000) – and yes, they are genuine visitors.  65,000 visitors don’t drop in just to pass the time – they come in for information, and you can safely bet that a large proportion are not native English speakers.  Yes, the TechBase content is different from that on UserBase, in that much of it is written entirely for contributors to specific projects, but I’d guess that even within projects there are people with a variety of languages – and you can’t guess which language your next volunteer contributor will speak.

What is most needed?

It’s difficult for me to say, but I’d suggest that some areas that should be considered early are

  • How to build packages to use within your distro
  • How to build a development environment

After that, projects could check their own project pages, updating where necessary.  Bear in mind, all the time, that those pages could be an invitation to new developers.  Are they accurate?  Are they attractive?  Many of you are happy writing Mediawiki code.  If you are not, ask for markup help, but get the bones of the matter down in any readable form.  When you are happy that your pages are ready for translation, let us know, either on kde-www@kde.org or on #kde-www.

At the moment TechBase falls short of the quality we would want newcomers to see.  Let’s do something about it.  Let’s make it a goal to get a body of registered translators before Desktop Summit.  If a BoF at DS would help, say so and we’ll do it.

Which pages would be your priority?

Written by annew in: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Powered by WordPress | Aeros Theme | TheBuckmaker.com WordPress Themes

Translate »