One of the most lately exciting new projects in the Joomla community is the cooperation between Open Translators and Transifex. Open Translators and Transifex has become a valuable resource both for devs, translators and end-users. Devs now has a great platform to reach translators and provide complete translations for their extensions (and hopefully sell/provide more extension). Translators can easily contribute (with little tech knowledge) to the community and the dev. End-users dont have to do any translation and can just focus to use the extension.
Soon I have translated about 100 extensions, for Joomla, to Swedish (www.joomlasverige.se). I work either in direct contact with the dev or using Transifex to make translations. Now when many devs moving to Transifex the workflow has change.
One thing is that many devs seams to think – “the more the merrier” – they have the language files public, making it possible for many users to translate. I think this is a pretty bad approach.
If several translators are contributing there is a big chance that they are not using the same nomenclature. Of course some words/sentences are pretty obvious but this is not always the case. This can be confusing both for the end-user and the translator. For example, sometimes the .sys-files for menus are added later and if another translator translate these strings later on, without checking previous files/strings, the result becomes messy.
In a perfect world I think one or two translators should contribute and one or two translators should have another role as proof readers. The proof readers should not be able to contribute new strings or to overwrite existing strings without the translator(s) approval. In most cases the dev don’t know if the new translation is better or worst, it’s more logical that translators has more knowledge about this.
Before, I could be the only translator for one extension and have translated over 1000 strings. Suddenly there are one or more translator involved in the project due to that the dev made the language files public. Personally it made me a bit tired, why do a dev want more translators involved in a specific translation without knowing anything about the work of the new translator? Imaging letting a coder full access to the extension source files without knowing anything about the new coder. In Transifex you can follow some history of the contributions but as I wrote above, it’s not easy for the dev to value the quality of the translations.
To summon up; if you are a dev, make translators request involvement and be careful to use several translators for one project. If you do, be sure that the translators communicate. I also hope that Transifex could implement a proof reader role, hopefully this will lead to better quality and non-messier translations.
Not to forget, this text is not to criticize Transifex, devs or Open Translators – this are just some thoughts on how a great platform of contributions can be even better.
So, what do you think?
I was surprised to see Ijoomla taking over JomSocial – maybe I shouldn't be, but I was. JomSocial has slowly crumbling to pieces during a long time. Don't get me wrong, there is much to love about JomSocial, unfortunately the love has not been return. The only reason to why JomSocial still is around is due to low competition, there is only one more – Community Builder.
Here are some thought about what has happened in the past.
It was a long time ago that I said Wow! when reading the JomSocial changelog. Not many existing features has been implemented. Last time was when multiprofiles was introduced. Also, the choice to introduce multiprofiles was also a bit strange. JSPT (JomSocial partner) was already there, providing this feature. Customer has been asking for a subscription feature for a long time but this has never been implemented. Now, it's not relevant anymore, we got PayPlans and AEC.
New products instead off..
Sookachat was an extension that was pretty unique, a light weight chat. This was not included in JS, it was supposed to be a monthly fee service. The extension was not properly launched, instead it was killed. Next up was Offiria, also a monthly fee service, then JomSocial Hosted also monthly fees.. It was pretty obvious that JomSocial need cash. It also took resources (devs) away from JomSocial.
..maintain existing ones
JomSocial had a great lineup; there was JomSocial – a great community extension, MyBlog, a blog tool and JomComment, a comment system extension. They had it all, products that could be used as a package. But instead of maintaining these, new products were launched, letting new products, competitors, arise on the market (EasyBlog, JComments etc).
When customers complain what you do? Erase grumpiness in the forum and start a ticket based system? No, by removing (hiding) the old forum, JomSocial really let their customers down. Questions was not answered or the answers was no real answers (strange, answer to other questions, just plain bad).
There were some Roadmaps, there were also some UserVoice based thingie. But JomSocial went their own way. They also decreased subscription period from 12 to 6 month (cash is king).
A community extension should be driven or least be inspired by the community. JomSocial closed the doors and just replied polite or ignored user feedback, not letting user engage.
Reading the blog post from Ijoomla was really positive, it seams that they have a close eye on the issues surrounding JomSocial. I'm pretty harsh here but I really like JomSocial and I wish both Ijoomla and Azrul good luck in the future and hoping to see JomSocial being “pumped up”!
I have earlier written different blog posts about Transifex, the reason is that I think Transifex is a real great service. Many different Joomla projects are now using Transifex for their translation management. OpenTranslators is working close with Transifex and has shown real great community spirit.
I’m translating many Joomla projects at Transifex and of course, after awhile you really like some features and you missing some. Here are some highlights;
When I translate locally there is always that risk that someone unplug the computer, blue screen or that your son prefer Pingu and close all other windows. The auto save / instant save feature in Transifex is really great, each string is saved instantly, you could lost a string at most.
Added strings by developer
Some extensions hold, component, modules and plugins. When new strings are added in new version, it can get pretty hard to compare the new language files with the old one, if you working locally. This is especially hard if the strings are added anywhere in the language file, not only at the end. In Transifex, new strings appear as untranslated, no wasted time to search and compare files – yay.
Some developers use Transifex api and create auto-packages, all files for a certain project and language, and provide these at their website. The packages is auto-updated when new translation is done at Transifex. Just upload and install the package with Joomla installer. Stackideas is a great example for a developer that provides packages this for their customers.
In my opinion, the best way to produce high quality translations is with strict team members. I really don’t think “open for all” is a good way to go, you can read more about this here. Transifex provide possibility to have teams by language/projects.
Download for use
Sometimes you want to download a specific file in order to test the translation on your site. You can “Download for use” but you have to rename it. Would love to have the correct name from the beginning, so it’s only to upload it to the server without having to rename it first.
Update translation from Joomla backend
A great feature would be if Joomla backend could connect to different translation platforms by api and new translations could be updated from the Joomla backend. If we will see this feature in Joomla, Transifex would certainly provide an api for this. Read more about this here.
Dashboard improvement – critical
What I really miss most is the lack of a good dashboard. My dashboard doesn’t give me almost anything. As a translator I want to now two things:
Currently you can “watch” projects but it doesn’t help much. I want to have an accessible overview. I want to see my incomplete projects and be able to subscribe to announcements.
So, what did you think about my likes and dislikes? Do I miss something, am I plain wrong (or right)?