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Trim it! - a shorter version for GGL translations

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ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13

Hi,

I've just extracted all of the translated content from the wikis in text files, and I am now seriously considering the option of trimmed-down translated versions of GGL.
The idea is that it's better to have a short, easily translated and maintained site, than... nothing.

I think it is feasible to have a 5-page site and still be useful and informative. Content would be:
- Homepage
-"Linux" page (full version but no sub-sections)
- Windows page (full version but no sub-sections)
- "Switch to Linux" page, a 1-page mix of "Choose a distro", "Try or install" and "Where to go" pages
- About page

Which makes 5 pages in all, 3 of them with important content. This would be a lot easier than the current 13, many of which aren't particularly easy to translate.
These five pages would be edited directly in XHTML format and shared with a SVN server.

Advantages:
- Less discouraging for translators (the activity in wikis usually sinks after 2 weeks)
- Does not prevent translating the full site later on (all work can be re-used)

This would allow us to grow faster into different languages. I am convinced that we can have a deep impact in some languages/countries where the web is smaller and information about GNU/Linux is scarcer.

What do you think? I estimate that I can set-up these "trimmed version" repositories by the end of the week.

Olivier.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
Hi!To be honest, I'm

Hi!

To be honest, I'm skeptical about it: I like the idea of having a short version of GGL, but I don't see why we need another project; all translators have to do is translate the important files first.

On the other hand, please, no more XHTML. I agree being a GLM translator is not a piece of cake at this moment and I do believe we have to make it much more easy for translators to do their job, but we have to be very cautious: We have to look for a balance between easiness and quality. I think we should try to focus on the benefits and extensibility of our infrastructure in the long-term, instead of getting the best for the short-term; I'd prefer to work a la Debian, this is, build a solid project, no matter how much time we'd have to spend on it (instead of taking the easy/short path).

I'm sure DocBook is much more suitable for us than XHTML and the proof is in eating the pudding: Let's compare the 'Misunderstanding Free Software' document, where here's its XHTML source and here's its DocBook equivalent:

  • There's no redundant code, at all.
  • There's no style-related code, at all.
  • It's truly semantic code.
  • We could get our projects converted into websites, PDFs...

As a result, translators would only deal with the code they really have to care about (no CSS, no metatags, no webpage header, no webpage footer)... Which means it would be easier for translators.

Have a look at this: http://i18n.gnulinuxmatters.org/ . There's an alternative to make it easy for translators to do their job: Providing them with an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide (including screencasts). This would be an investment: We'd have to spend time to learn the methodology, but we'd all be proud of the final work (not to mention that the knowledge we get could be reused on other projects).

Cheers.

EDIT: Also, GGL is almost completely ported to DocBook.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
I'm also fond of DocBook

I'm also fond of DocBook because we would be able to print out our projects, so that people could print them and share them out among their acquaintances, on the street...

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I'm not sure if having a

I'm not sure if having a one big page to translate instead of a few smaller one really makes that much of a difference. In fact, I sometimes prefer having the work cut out in smaller slices because it allows a bit freer time management. You could think of translating one big page as doing it in one big breath, almost to the point of choking, while with smaller slices you do it in many easy breaths. Smiling

Anyway, docbook sounds quite nice.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
OK for DocBook. This does

OK for DocBook. This does frighten me up but I have to jump in the water some day ;-)

About the shortening of the version, this is not about one big page vs. many small pages. The fact is the amount of translation to do is big. I know for a fact (having got my hands deep into most of the translations and done most of the French one) that the length of it all quickly becomes daunting. All the sub-sections ("why not windows" full articles, FAQ with 18 entries, "Misunderstanding Free Software" article, etc) are particularly hard and long.

Discussing with people from various communities (Jabber, Mozilla) made me understand that each language/country is a different segment. It's quite possible to have a huge effect in one place, irrespective of the other ones. There must be languages in which we can have a huge, long-lasting effect, just by being there.

The goal is really to advance a little faster. It can be seen as an intermediary step to a full version (no work will be lost if a translation team decides to go for the full version).

I am certain this can be done without decreasing the quality of GGL. I'll make a demo of a trimmed version in the coming days.

Olivier.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
I agree
ariadacapo wrote:

OK for DocBook. This does frighten me up but I have to jump in the water some day ;-)

I'm glad to know that =) I'm not a DocBook expert, but I can certainly help you out.

ariadacapo wrote:

About the shortening of the version, this is not about one big page vs. many small pages. The fact is the amount of translation to do is big. I know for a fact (having got my hands deep into most of the translations and done most of the French one) that the length of it all quickly becomes daunting. All the sub-sections ("why not windows" full articles, FAQ with 18 entries, "Misunderstanding Free Software" article, etc) are particularly hard and long.

Discussing with people from various communities (Jabber, Mozilla) made me understand that each language/country is a different segment. It's quite possible to have a huge effect in one place, irrespective of the other ones. There must be languages in which we can have a huge, long-lasting effect, just by being there.

The goal is really to advance a little faster. It can be seen as an intermediary step to a full version (no work will be lost if a translation team decides to go for the full version).

I am certain this can be done without decreasing the quality of GGL. I'll make a demo of a trimmed version in the coming days.

I fully agree with you here and it looks like we're not alone, as I've received two Spanish emails from people who think GGL is a very complete resource and that might be a disadvantage.

My suggestion is:
- Move 'Misunderstanding Free Software' and 'Stand for a free society' to UndeclaredRight.
- Move 'Choose a Distribution', 'Try or install' and 'Where to go next' to our upcoming project 'First Steps in GNU/Linux'.
- Remove the contact page on GGL and put a link to our global contact page at GNULinuxMatters.org.

What do you think?

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
I am not really willing to

I am not really willing to re-organize GGL as I believe there are so many important and effective things that we can do instead... I can feel this will be the subject of much discussion next month ;-)

This is what I had in mind. (English model to be translated).
It's only the 3 main pages, plus About and Homepage. My estimate is that it cuts translation time by a factor 5, yet it still contains all the very essential information we wish to get across.

It's obviously short, there is not space for everything; but I really believe this can get us moving quickly.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
I liked so much that

I liked so much that trimmed version that I would love to see the original GGL shorter than it's now.

I'm really happy with all of the contents of GGL at this moment and this is why I suggested to move some of them elsewhere (I still believe it's worth doing so).

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