Tuesday Feb 23, 2010

Contributing to OpenSolaris & XWiki

This is very cool. Robert Antoni, who is a contributor in the OpenSolaris Internationalization & Localization Community, posted mail to website-discuss and i18n-discuss about a really interesting contribution. He localized the XWiki application resources file into the Catalan language. So after that contribution is integrated into XWiki, we'll be able to pick it up when we update our implementation of XWiki as well. And that will help the OpenSolaris community localize opensolaris.org into Catalan. So, both communities benefit from Robert's contribution. Really excellent.

Auth is already available in the Catalan language, and the new SCM Console will be as well when we deploy sometime in March. It will be good to have the underlying XWiki interface localized as well.

More information about contributing:

Friday Jan 22, 2010

Updated XWiki for OpenSolaris

Chris updated our implementation of XWiki yesterday to v2.1.1, which fixes a bunch of bugs we had been living with while using v1.8. The current bug list for hub is on defect.opensolaris.org, so please file any issues there. Also note we doubled the number of languages we are supporting with this update (screen of 17 language codes). See the localization page if you want to contribute translations. More website application updates to come: auth, repo, and poll are on tap next. Roadmap here.

Thursday Dec 03, 2009

Localizing OpenSolaris Website Content

Now that we've moved to XWiki, we should go about the business of localizing more of the OpenSolaris website. This is going to take a while and it will require work from the community and from the website engineering team. It may also require some people from Sun and the OpenSolaris community getting directly involved in the XWiki community, which could prove interesting as the communities benefit from each other's contributions. It's a big opportunity all around, and hopefully we'll be able to build more OpenSolaris development communities around the world by simply speaking more languages on our website. There will be multiple steps involved to localize everything, but at least we have some tools in place and a much better platform from which to build some interesting localization projects. So, here are the big three buckets:

1. Auth

Auth is already localized into 17 languages thanks to the contributions of the OpenSolaris community using the Sun Open CTI tool. In a few weeks, we will update auth, and then after that the community will be able to update the localizations for auth as well. The process of localizing auth is well known now, and we'll just move ahead as we have in the past. Auth is most important in this process because the more languages we can localize auth.opensolaris.org into the more languages we can offer on our implementation of XWiki at hub.opensolaris.org. Remember, hub is integrated with auth and part of that integration means that language preferences are set in auth.

2. XWiki

XWiki currently supports 21 languages in the base application. Now, if you go to the OpenSolaris website and edit a page, you will see the following text in the right navigation bar:
Document translations
You are editing the original document.
Translate this document in: cs de en es fr pl ru zh
Here's what it looks like in a screen shot. Those eight languages represent the intersection between localizations supported on auth.opensolaris.org and those supported by the XWiki application itself. It's important that we build out that intersection so we can enable more languages on hub.opensolaris.org for the community to localize more general OpenSolaris content. So, when you click on a language code in that nav, certain elements on the screen will immediately change to that language, and the URL will change to language=[whatever language you chose]. After you translate and save the page, the right nav bar in edit mode will display the language code, and also at the top right side of the page the new language code (among whatever other translations are there) will display with a little flag icon. That tells users the page is localized into any number of languages. Pretty basic but we didn't have this capability on the old site.

Now, here's the challenging and/or confusing part from a social point of view. hub.opensolaris.org is not a wiki where anyone can edit and translate anything. The site is actually comprised of many applications and many spaces, but all of the content basically fits into three big sections:
  1. Common Content: This content includes the front page, project overview, FAQ center, roadmaps, site map, downloads, Collectives overview and navigation, navs, header/footer spaces and documents, style sheets, etc. Sun's Website Team manages the common content on hub.opensolaris.org, and requests to update and translate this information can be made on website-discuss. Contact information here.
  2. Collective Content: This is all the content inside all the hundreds of Collectives on the site -- Community Groups, Projects, User Groups. Leaders of those Collectives are responsible for managing their own content and for providing edit privileges to their community members. Contact information here.
  3. Subsites Content:This is all the content on the dozen or so applications, sometimes called subsites, that provide services to users and developers, such as cr.os.org (code review), jucr.os.org (source juicer), pkg.os.org (package), test.os.org (test), etc. And each subsite has an owner. The site map has more details. Contact information here.
So, you can only translate content where you have privileges to edit in the first place, and the site gets all that user access data from auth, which is set up to implement the structure of the community as specified in the OpenSolaris Constitution. It's actually not as complicated as it sounds (although it needs to get easier over time, we all know that). Here are the Roles and Collectives
we built into the new site, and that should be enough to explain the basic structure without having to read the entire Constitution. Basically, if you have edit privileges to your own areas on the site and you want to translate some content, then go translate content. Just do it. But if you want to translate content in an area of the site where you don't already have edit privileges, then you should contact the Leaders in those areas and ask them if they would be interested in having their stuff localized and if they would give you the appropriate editorial privileges to do that work. Can you imagine people saying no to that request? I can't. And the manual process of going out and talking to people will only increase the number of interactions community members will have with each other. That can only be good.

3. Subsites

The subsites should to get localized at some point, too. This can be accomplished in three steps:
  1. First, the website engineering team will build a backend web application to serve all the common graphical elements of the OpenSolaris website to all the subsites, so that includes the headers, footers, wordmarks, logos, icons, etc. This way, the entire website can have a common look and feel (as much as possible given that there are many applications involved). Also, the benefit of this concept becomes clear when we have to update common elements of the site or add new translations or templates. Then all of the subsites will be updated as well and those owners don't have to worry about keeping in sync with the rest of the site. Over time, all of the sites that make up opensolaris.org will look and feel more like one site (with single sign on via auth, of course). That's the goal anyway.
  2. Second, the OpenSolaris community will be able to localize all the content for that web application, and when we are ready we'll make it available via the Open CTI tool. So, even embedded text in icons will be translated.
  3. Third, OpenSolaris community members can contact the subsite owners and offer to translate that content, which can then be uploaded to each subsite by the Leaders.

Contribute Right Now

So, to sum up a bit, if you have language translations skills, here's how you can contribute to this crazy website localization effort:
  • Localize content in the areas that you already have privileges to edit.
  • Ask other Leaders in other Collectives if they would like you to localize their content. 
  • If you are a Leader of a Collective and you are not involved in localization and want your content translated, post to i18n-discuss and ask the Internationalization & Localization Community.
  • Ask the Website Team if they`d like the common content on the site localized. The answer is yes, by the way. We have updated a great deal of the site's common content (FAQs and such), and we continue to do so. So check with us first so we can remain in sync as much as possible.
  • Add more languages to auth via Open CTI by translating the auth resources file. Ask questions on i18n-discuss (subscribe here, archives here, forum here, blog here). A new auth resources file is coming soon.
  • Add more languages directly to the XWiki application at l10n.xwiki.org by translating the XWiki ApplicationResources file. NOTE: WE NEED A JAPANESE TRANSLATION OF THIS FILE! It's a big deal and would represent a gigantic contribution to the XWiki community as well as the OpenSolaris community. I am talking with the XWiki community about this as well (see thread beginning here and running about 15 messages). Currently, XWiki does not support Japanese (ja) among its list of 21 supported languages (it supports Japanese language text displayed on pages, of course, but not at the application resources level with menu and icons and the URL). Subscribe to the xwiki users list here.
  • Content translations are major contributions to this community. We take them seriously. Please read and sign the Sun Contributor Agreement (FAQ here), so everyone's rights are understood and protected. Here's more on contributing to OpenSolaris.

What do you think? I certainly don't have this all figured out yet, but that's enough to start. On the old site, we started this project with the Portals, but that was a very temporary effort to fix a site that didn't support localization. Auth and XWiki do support localization (see XWiki's application evaluation here), so now we can move much faster on these early steps. Even longer term, we'd like to develop a system to automate some of this so we can do bulk translations and publish those documents automatically. One thing at a time

Posted to i18n-discuss at opensolaris dot org (here, here). Join the conversation there.

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