Playing with gettext and intltool

I have been learning how to use gettext and intltool in order to get some code internationalized. At first I thought it would very difficult to learn and get practical results but in fact the i18n libraries and tools are easy to work with.

The first choice was how to test them in  a useful way and so I chose to do it using the Preupgrade code. Although I’m not very familiar with Python code I did this because this software is not internationalized yet and because it is “real code”, not just a Hello World example. I guess this is the greatest thing about open source software, you can just dig in and do whatever you want to and give it back, so IMHO this is a good place to start and a patch can come later. Another interesting thing about gettext is that it works pretty much in the same way for other languages. This is good because I intent to collaborate providing i18n support for other programs as well.

Preupgrade speaking some Brazilian Portuguese

So far I extracted 80 strings into the .POT file but I was not able to get the dialog titles internationalized yet, although they are marked as translatable in the Glade XML file. Once I fix this it will be good to go and I’ll find out how to get the i18n support automatically built into the package.

Passando a bola

Como é do conhecimento daqueles que acompanham o meu trabalho no Projeto Fedora, eu deixei a coordenação da equipe de tradução do nosso idioma. Foram quatro anos trabalhando nas traduções como um todo e três anos como coordenador. Foi um trabalho muito gratificante e com um retorno que eu jamais imaginaria em princípio.

Quem assume a coordenação agora é Taylon Silmer, que também é de Belo Horizonte e já faz parte do time de tradução do Fedora e do GNOME. Um dos desafios do novo coordenador será adaptar as interfaces para as novas regras ortográficas e manter o interesse da comunidade nas traduções.

É difícil deixar um trabalho reconhecido e bem sucedido como esse, mas em contrapartida vejo a necessidade de aprender algo novo. Agora pretendo ajudar na triagem, relato de bugs e QA (Quality Assurance – Garantia de Qualidade) de internacionalização, além de continuar mantendo o Spin BrOffice.org.

Eu gostaria de agradecer nominalmente ao Rodrigo Padula e ao Diego Zacarão que foram as primeiras pessoas com quem tive contato no projeto, ao Henrique Junior da Revista Fedora Brasil, a todos que sempre me apoiaram nesse tempo todo e principalmente aos que criticaram e ajudaram a melhorar os processos.

What I expect to do for Fedora in 2010

Since I’m leaving the coordination of the Brazilian Portuguese translation team after four years of a rewarding job, I expect to do something different in the next years.

My main concern about the whole software translation system right now is that for many times the teams make a good work but for many reasons the translations don’t end in the final versions of Fedora. These reasons are for instance: strings freeze breaks, final freeze breaks, downstream patching and specific i18n bugs.

IMHO, at first we need to improve the testing on those situations, and this is where I intend to start helping. After that, I intent to propose some patches rather than just file tons of bugs. It is important to make the i18n string testing consistent during the release cycle, and the Fedora 13 release cycle seems a great time to start.

Happy New Year Folks!