[Openstack-i18n] I18n meeting tomorrow

Douglas Fish drfish at us.ibm.com
Fri May 2 14:31:59 UTC 2014

We are agreeing on many points here.  Let me expand on one idea that I
think I'm not making clear.

I am a native English speaker.  As an English speaking software engineer,
when I've created labels, messages, etc I usually think they are pretty
good.  However, I work at a big company, so we have people who are
technical writers.  They are experts in how these kinds of strings should
be written for the highest quality professional English.  Based on their
feedback, it turns out I'm not quite as good at how English labels,
messages, etc should be written for the highest quality professionalism.  I
understand the language, of course, but sometimes I'm influenced by my
engineering background to take shortcuts or represent things the wrong way.
It's rare for somebody to be both an expert software engineer and an expert
English speaker.

The kind of feedback you are asking for in your code review is going to
require that sort of dual-expertise in order to accurately assess if your
code solution will allow high quality, professional translations for all
languages.  Maybe OpenStack has attracted people with that sort of
background, but if so we are really quite lucky.  It's a difficult question
for people so sort out.

I still hold that we need to get rid of most of this concatination in order
for Horizon to be most effectively translated.  I understand that may
result in more translatable strings, but I'm hopeful that will be
outweighed by the fact the context and usage of those strings will be
clear, and people without coding expertise will be able to easily
understand and contribute to the translation of Horizon.

My only word of caution is that I am only beginning to understand what
removing concatination means for the Horizon/Dashboard code base.  I think
there is only a limited amount of code that actually does concatinations,
but it's used to generate a great deal of the UI.  I really should quit
spending time on the mailing list, and start digging around in the code on
this one!  :-)

Doug Fish

From:	Yves-Gwenaël Bourhis <yves-gwenael.bourhis at cloudwatt.com>
To:	openstack-i18n at lists.openstack.org,
Date:	05/02/2014 04:57 AM
Subject:	Re: [Openstack-i18n] I18n meeting tomorrow

Le 30/04/2014 18:47, Douglas Fish a écrit :
> I was just discussing a similar issue in IRC #openstack-translation
> It's my impression that the fixes you've proposed are patches that
> gradually improve the translatability of Horizon, but don't address the
> issue:  the concatenation that is used to reduce the number of messages
> results in complex and ultimately inaccurate translations.  Maybe I've
> misunderstood the fixes?  Can they result in broadly accurate

The problem is that they work now in French... and probably many more
languages. But I'm no expert in other languages to certify they would
work in "all" languages.
Maybe some languages would require not using variables in the string and
to have the full string. I really need other language speaking people to
check this point while reviewing the patch. I only speak English and
French (and my German notions do not meet all the requirements :-) ) to
know that what is right in one of them can be wrong in one of the
others, and finding what is "dynamically" right in these is already
extremely difficult.

> Getting translation right is important.  Having translations that are
> maintainable and accurate are necessary for Horizon to reach maturity.
> the solution you've proposed is "right", then that's great.  But if it
> isn't right, I'd rather see us invest in refactor/retranslation now, in
> Juno, rather than later.

This is why my current patch needs to be reviewed especially by people
who speak different languages. I would need a German, Japanese, Chinese,
Spanish, Russian, etc... native speaker to review this.
The issue is that it's not trivial to have someone knowing translations
and being able to read python code (or vice-versa) at the same time.
This really is not an easy issue, the difficulty is not in terms of
coding but of how to implement it to meet world-wide requirements.

The longer we wait to make this right the bigger
> Horizon's code and translations are going to be and the harder they are
> going to be to fix.

I totally agree :-)

Yves-Gwenaël Bourhis

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