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How can I help?

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Bjwebb's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-01

Hi, there. My names Ben Webb and you've probably seen me in these forums a while ago, but I've not been very active recently. I believe in Software Liberty and really would like to help further the cause, but I'm not completely sure how. (See my blogpost - http://freedomdreams.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/what-do-i-want-to-achieve-for-software-liberty/ ). Of course, one of the most obvious ways would be to help you guys with the GNU/Linux Matters network of sites. So, my question is, how can I help?

I was wondering whether my coding skills could be of use, but they're not particularly good (see http://audfairtrade.byethost13.com/ for an example of my website coding, basically a specialised home-grown cms, source here http://github.com/Bjwebb/audenshaw-group-cms), and after checking out your svn I couldn't really work out how the translation bit work together. However, if you think I may still be able to contribute with my coding, then I'd love to do so.

As for helping write the sites, the two bits that really interest me are the two that haven't really got off the ground UndeclaredRight.info and Unconstrained.info, especially the education part (being in education at the moment myself). These are not even in svn, have any work been done on these at all? If I were to start making draft versions of these sites, would it be appreciated?

Anyway, thanks for the great job you guys are doing, and I hope I can help you.
I really ought to wear my t-shirt more often Laughing out loud
Ben

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Hi Ben! Thanks for popping

Hi Ben!

Thanks for popping in. There are plenty of ways to help. A the moment the main areas where we need help are:

  1. Translations. We need to upgrade existing translations by transferring them into our Pootle installation, and develop new ones. If you speak any language other than English, feel free to start a translation.
  2. Spreading the word. As soon as we have upgraded a couple of existing translations, we'll try to shake the community a bit. The objective is going to be getting 1 million incoming clicks from search engines, over one year. So, if you can influence web communities to link to GGL and translations, it will definitely help.
    Although we are going to start with just the plain'old link buttons we want to build something much bigger - a community similar to SpreadFirefox and more. The software for this is called Animador, and this is where your coding skills might help.
  3. We are going to work very closely with the TuxProject community - especially since Landy DeField joined the GNU/Linux Matters Committee. So you might want to participate over there too.
  4. The development of UndeclaredRight.info and Unconstrained.info has not started yet, indeed. We won't be working on this before April - I don't think it would be a good thing to start now, since we need to finish some really important things first. (note: it's definitely going to happen. Just not immediately: one thing at the time).
Bjwebb wrote:

[...] after checking out your svn I couldn't really work out how the translation bit work together. However, if you think I may still be able to contribute with my coding, then I'd love to do so.

Gustavo is really the man to ask if you want technical details. A rough sketch of the process is:
- GGL is written as a set of PHP + Gettext files.
- A small script (make-po.sh) extracts the content to be translated into POT files
- These POT files are grabbed by Pootle, and the corresponding translations are stored into localized PO files
- Poliglota, a piece of software built by Gustavo and running on http://websites.gnulinuxmatters.org , grabs these PO files and puts the content back into PHP files. It assembles the PHP files together to build static XHTML files.
- These XHTML files are put on the web server where they are read by visitors. =)
I hope this describes it correctly - but again, I'm not the chief designer here ;-)

Globally, if you are mostly into coding, then have a glance at our current ticket list. We are especially working on releasing milestones "WaterZeabra" and "WaterZeabra-bugfix".

Don't hesitate to ask more questions.

Olivier.

Bjwebb's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-01
Thanks very much for your

Thanks very much for your reply.

  1. I'm English, and thats the only language I'm very good at, although I speak some French. When you say "copy over", does some of that literally entail copying and pasting from the current versions? I'd be happy to help with that.
  2. Well, I'd love to help spread the word, but I'm not sure how. FWIW my blog has a link button. I will try and persuade pople to link to you, but its not always easy (I've tried a bit in the past), because you're not really a well known site.
  3. Cool, I'll go and check the site out.
  4. Yes, I know you are very busy people and will get around to these as soon as you can. Like I say, I would particularly like to help with UndeclaredRight.info, so once work on this starts, could you let me know.

I hate to sound ignorant, but what are the very important things that you mention? Is it mainly the translation infrastructure and migration work (which hopefully I'll be able to help with) or is there something else you are working on atm?

As for coding (either on Animador or the WaterZebra milestone), I'll take a look at the code again now that you've explained roughly how it works.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Hey

Hey again,

[1.]
Unfortunately this requires a fair bit of re-reading/re-writing. There has been tons of modifications to GGL that have never been ported to translations. So a confirmed French writer is needed here ideally.

[2.]
I know it's hard and I remember what you've done and tried so far. Thanks very much for that.
We're slowly getting out of anonymity and it'll become easier progressively. Thanks also for your blog link button, it's very much appreciated. And it makes a difference.

Bjwebb wrote:

I hate to sound ignorant, but what are the very important things that you mention? Is it mainly the translation infrastructure and migration work (which hopefully I'll be able to help with) or is there something else you are working on atm?

You don't sound ignorant =)... it's us not communicating well enough. You guessed it: the translation infrastructure is top priority. We need to 1) raise the quality of translations and 2) be able to grow efficiently.
I want to have something to put on the table when touring companies and communities to get help, support and linking. The above is a pre-condition for that.

This would all be finished if we could work on it 100% of the time... but there are many things to take care about, such as finding servers that work, money to run the organization, getting accepted at conferences and doing them, getting food on the table or even repairing the domestic heating :-/ So, it often appears not much happens although we (mostly Gustavo and I) are frantically busy behind the scene ;-)

Lots of exciting things are about to happen, and we're getting better at organizing ourselves and communicating. I'll let you know, of course, when we start the undeclared right & co projects.

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Joined: 2007-09-10
translations
ariadacapo wrote:

[1.]
Unfortunately this requires a fair bit of re-reading/re-writing. There has been tons of modifications to GGL that have never been ported to translations. So a confirmed French writer is needed here ideally.

Aren't you a confirmed French writer yourself? Smiling
I thought you were a student at the ENS cachan because of this: http://www.nuxified.org/topic/in_case_you_need_motivation

I haven't checked the translations page recently, but if there's something that needs to be translated into/from French, I can help. Eye

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
re: participating
KIAaze wrote:

Aren't you a confirmed French writer yourself?