Well, I guess the cat is out of the bag, so I might as well talk a bit about it. ;)
Last November I sent out an email to pretty much every major Brazilian localization team (including Gnome, KDE, XFCE, Mozilla, OpenOffice, and the Linux Documentation Project), inviting them to a meeting to discuss how we can all benefit from our individual work. Many replies later, we decided to hold 2 sessions on the 18Th so to accommodate everyone’s schedules. The log for the 2 sessions (sorry, Portuguese only) were posted and everyone had a chance to chime in.
From the very start, I received a very positive feedback from the Gnome guys, with Leonardo Fontenelle playing an important role in helping me get in touch with some of the other groups, as well as explaining how the Gnome group worked. In fact, the Gnome folks were the ones who stuck around and bought in the idea.
My final plan was to use the Ubuntu Brazilian translation team “power house” to provide Gnome with direct feedback and bug reporting of translations. I wanted to make sure that nobody was doing the same job twice, so the decision was to start with the translation catalogs (.po) straight from upstream, and have them approved through bugzilla first! Once a package was completely approved upstream (and by completed I mean 100% translated), the Ubuntu Team is then responsible for uploading it back to Ubuntu, via Rosetta. The reason why we would do that is so to make the translations final and work out any possible discrepancy that may come up. Another advantage is that we can then have these translations available to people who make use of the monthly language-pack deployment mechanism. If I understand correctly, Ubuntu does bring in translations from upstream, but they do not go in as final and require (manual) intervention from us. Maybe someone from Rosetta could chime on this?
Another decision was to make sure we all use the same vocabulary and standards. The decision was to make use of the existing vocabulary from the Linux Documentation Project Brazil (LDP-BR), and improve it by adding our own collected vocabulary. So far this has working out really well, but we still need to get the LDP-BR guys to completely commit to it.
So far I have only deployed 4-5 people to work on this project, to make sure we give people a chance to learn the new processes, as well as give the Gnome guys a chance to prepare themselves for the major bug reporting flood that is coming their way! ;) Obviously, since we still don’t have the same type of commitment from the other localization teams (KDE/XFCE/Mozilla/OpenOffice guys!!! Where are you???), we still need people to take care of the other packages.
I’m glad to report that as our first goal, the Gnome and Ubuntu teams want to deliver all Gnome desktop applications (applications list is available here) completely translated by early February, just in time for 2.18!!! We will then shift gears, as I will propose a bolder project and try to get Gnome (not just the desktop applications) completely translated by the end of 2007!
I hope this post will attract more volunteers and other localization teams, as we all embrace this major effort to make the Brazilian Open source experience more pleasant for all.