Re: Non-community-based approaches to localisation

(Deleted all personal addresses. Get yer info from lists.)

On Sun, 7 Sep 2008 12:23:13 +0100
"Simos Xenitellis" <simos lists googlemail com> wrote:

Dear Simos,
  Thank you for your message. Such input, from yourself, and
other GNOME localisation folk, who undoubtedly have a broader
perspective, is exactly the reason that I posted this message
here. It is possible that I am letting my own parochial
prejudices outweigh more long-term interests.

> The part that I think that is surprising is that a big organisation
> (in this case C-DAC), took the initiative to put resources to carry
> out large-scale open-source localisation.

Yes, the fact that they did do the localisation is great,
and something that at least I personally have lauded.

> The fact that the open-source l10n communities in India were not
> consulted before the C-DAC localisation work, looks to me as a common
> mistake, and does not surprise me. The way that open-source
> communities work is just too different, and you can expect such
> issues.

I will concede your point about government agencies not knowing
how (also, at least in India, probably not able) to deal with
a FOSS community; with its rambunctious, devil-may-care attitude.

However, this is far from being an isolated case, and in my past
experience over the past five or so years, it has always been the
FOSS community, largely with *unpaid* (and, I do wish to emphasise
that fact, given the huge amounts of money that have gone into
CDAC work) volunteers that have tried to bend over backwards.

> What I see that was missing and still is, is a person to act as
> liaison between the open-source localisation communities of India and
> C-DAC. I took up somewhat this role during the discussion some months
> ago, but it just looks awkward for me to be further involved.
> Could someone pick up this task?

Let me give you an example of such an effort, from *my* personal
experience. My native tongue is Oriya, and when CDAC started
localising OpenOffice into Oriya, I was pleasantly surprised
to have the head of the effort contact me, and was all gung-ho
about it. We gave them what we had of the OpenOffice glossary
(1/3rd complete, from my personal effort), and asked them to
finish the glossary, and talk to us so that we could ensure
consistency. No response from CDAC for several months, despite
several reminders from my side. Six months or so, later I get
a message saying that Oriya localisation of OpenOffice is
complete, though now it has been three years and they have
apparently not yet deemed it fit to see that OpenOffice
packages this. Also, the translations have little relation
to our glossary. For OpenOffice, please do not take just my
word for it. Please talk to Louis Suarez-Potts, one of the
leading lights of OpenOffice.

I have little doubt that other community localisers have
had similar experiences.
> What you have in hand is that there is a big organisation which showed
> interest some months ago with l10n, and it might still have interest
> in open-source localisation. It's up to you to lead the way with
> C-DAC, in localisation or other open-source activities.

Sure, we are willing to meet them three-quarters of the way,
and definitely there are encouraging signs from among the
younger folk at CDAC. This whole thread arose because someone
from CDAC was actually willing to approach us. But, please do
not blame *us* for being unresponsive. That hurts.


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