OTT09 Book Sprint Planning

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The Open Translation Book Sprint will take place on the 5 days after OTT09.

This page is the starting point for planning the book sprint, and we invite contributions on what we should include in the book.


The primary audiences for the book are

  • people who need to translate open content, whether it be documents, web and blog content, or videos
  • people who need to localize open source tools

Book Goals

  • Provide an overview of open translation
  • Explain best practices for creating translation-friendly content
  • Describe models for distributed and internet-based translation
  • Enumerate translation options for a range of internet tools, including web CMS, blogs, video, documents.
  • Provide overview of internationalization and locatization concepts, tools, and processes

Book Content

The following is an unstructured list of content ideas. Please add yours to the mix, and we'll work together to sift and sort in advance of the book sprint.

From Adam Hyde

i wanted to just write down some topics in a tentative structure so we could think a little about how to strategise getting enough content with the people at hand.

The idea of this (or similar) structure is to provide a entry point for someone with zero knowledge of the issues at hand and ramp them up through a nice friendly learning curve so they can deal with quite complex ideas. This kind of flow also means that a more experienced translator can jump in and use a later chapter as a starting point.

Additionally, the structure is designed to create a segmentation of content so that chapters can be worked on in isolation. This means anyone can drop in and contribute to the overall story without having to know the whole story (so to speak). a scratching board i wrote the following. Please feel free to add/subtract as required.


  • what is Open Translation (gunner)
  • localisation vs translation (Dwayne)


  • machine translation (anyone)
Yes, I can help on this - (Stephan Vogel)
Presuming here we're talking about open-source / free-software machine translation only? - Francis Tyers 11:30, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Translation Dictionaries (translator)
  • Unicode, fonts and RTL (anyone)


  • Writing with translation in mind (translator)


  • Strategies (translator)
  • Translation Dictionaries and word lists (translator)
  • Anaphraseus (anyone)
  • Editing - using record diffs in open office (I can get someone from fm

to write this remotely)


  • Strategies (Brian)
  • Fonts (any web geek)
  • Character encoding. rtl, css, and meta tags (any web geek)
  • CMS, Wiki, Blog translation overview (any web geek that wants to
  • research it quickly)
  • WWL (Brian)


  • How subtitles work (ed?)
  • Subtitle file formats (ed?)
  • How to translate an existing subtitle (with text editor - anyone)
  • Creating Video Subtitles (jubler - we have a manual about this already
  • and can include the entire thing -
  • Playing subtitles with VLC (i think we already have this chapter -
  • Finding Subtitles Online (anyone)


  • Image file formats (adam)
  • SVG (adam)
  • How to translate an SVG (adam)
  • Scripting SVG translation (adam)


  • po files (dwayne)
  • generating po files with gettext (dwayne)
  • Pootle (dwayne)


  • copyright 101 (thom)
  • permissive (thom)
  • copyleft (thom)
  • creative commons (cc ppl?)
  • public domain (thom)

from Dwayne Bailey

The localisation guide that we've been building at since 2004 I think is a good starting point. I'd hate this book sprint to have to duplicate an existing resource, create another and create confusion. I remember in the Warsaw localisation event being so frustrated as much content being written was already written in the above wiki. and others have maintained the above wiki for the last 5 years. It's referenced from many places and in some instances has the best collection of data in certain subjects. In some areas it can certainly use some gardening but such are wiki's. For someone starting its in many cases one of the best online resource.

I'd like to propose that we leverage a localisation resource that is already good, that's already used, that's already maintained and that other already recognise as a useful resource. Start there and make it more valuable, fuller and more useful.

Now how that affects the sprint I don't know but lets discuss.

from Sabine Eller

Localisation for less resourced languages presents some additional difficulties which should be considered when creating tools and looking at the translation workflow. Most less resourced languages also have a very low computer literacy rate. Don't know right now how to integrate this in what is said above - eventually starting just with a separate chapter adding step by step examples and solutions we encounter/find.

Collaborative translation efforts

Translation can be managed in several ways:

  • with a traditional workflow, from first translation to editor to proofreader to final text
  • with all work done by a single individual
  • with sections of a work doled out to different individuals and someone appointed to harmonize the result
  • with no coordination whatsoever (the typical crowd-sourced or wiki translation context).

These approaches all have their own advantages and their own sets of difficulties. I come from the wiki context where we have a special set of issues; I'd like to see part of this book deal with that. Some of it will have to do with tools to help manage coordination and some of it will deal with social aspects of the translation effort. I think both are appropriate for this book. -- ArielGlenn 00:25, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

from Thom Hastings

since openness is only possible though open licenses, i think it would be a miss not to include licensing in a book on open translation. i can also help out with machine translation stuff.