Re: Should translators change source strings?

On 8/8/05, Adam Weinberger <adamw magnesium net> wrote:
> [ I'm adding d-d-l to the Cc: list here, folks. If it doesn't make it
> through to that list, please forward a copy to it. ]
> Clytie Siddall wrote:
> > On 08/08/2005, at 3:35 PM, Adam Weinberger wrote:
> >>>> One of them says "password is to simple".
> >>>>
> >>> This is also a current error in gdm2. I was about to report is as  a
> >>> bug. Should I still do that?
> >>
> >> If a string has a major grammar or spelling error like that, then  it
> >> should definitely have a bug filed against it.
> >
> > Done.
> >
> > I seem to spend half my time in Bugzilla at Gnome. :(
> >
> > It's not too bad when I update the files, but the first pass ... LOTS
> > of errors. Is it possible to run an English spellchecker over the .po
> > files?
> Trust me: you don't want to do that. There are literally hundreds of
> strings with grammar or spelling errors, terrible word choices, made-up
> words, or simply lazy strings.

(see below, but in a nutshell, I think we should do this, and do it regularly.)

> The simple truth is that developers spend their time concentrating on
> code, not on strings. (And with good reason!) GNOME simply will never be
> taken seriously until the quality of the strings improves.

Well, I wouldn't go that far, but yes, we should improve the quality
of our strings.
> We are under-utilizing our translators' abilities. For every developer
> that doesn't wish to spend his or her time making grammar and spelling
> changes, I propose the following:
> Every module may have a file named po/README.TRANSLATORS. In this file,
> developers may put instructions such as "Only simple spelling and
> grammar fixes" or "Please make any change necessary" or "Do not make
> changes at all" or "You break it, you buy it". Absence of
> po/README.TRANSLATORS will mean that translators have implicit
> permission to edit the source strings themselves to resolve simple,
> obvious grammar and spelling errors. (I.e.  more complex or non-obvious
> changes will still require a bugzilla bug to be filed.)

Seems like a very reasonable proposal to me.

As an aside, we are running 'make check' regularly now via my
tinderbox- if someone could whip up a reliable way to have make check
run a spellchecker over the .po files, and ignore 'valid'
misspellings, that would be a big help. It would be ugly at first, but
it would help us get things cleaned up, and once it was cleaned up, it
would be very easy to catch new errors- easier than it is now.


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