[OSGeo-Discuss] Foreign Language Community Support

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at crschmidt.net
Sun Nov 9 12:27:54 PST 2008

On Sun, Nov 09, 2008 at 08:21:04PM +0100, Lorenzo Becchi wrote:
> Christopher Schmidt wrote:
> >
> > does
> >http://trac.openlayers.org/wiki/GettingHelp/ForeignLanguageSupport seem
> >like an appropriate way to enocurage people to seek help? Does my
> >suggestions for how to handle lack of speaking a language make some
> >sense?
> >  
> I think this is a good initiative.
> trying to be a bit critic, it is the kind of page that a person who 
> knows a little of English doesn't need because they can write to the 
> international list.
> a person who knows nothing of English cannot understand all that text, 
> probably.

Yes, I understand that. I didn't want to encourage people to futz with
the international pages until I had some basic agreeement on the text of
the English, since translating something and then translating it again
when I heard that the existing page was bad seemed somewhat of a waste

> To make it easy, we can maybe add links to the automatic translation to 
> many different languages, ex:
> ------------------
> Version en EspaƱol, linking to:
> http://translate.google.es/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Ftrac.openlayers.org%2Fwiki%2FGettingHelp%2FForeignLanguageSupport&sl=en&tl=es&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
> ------------------
> better would be to create human translations of your text but it will 
> take more time.

Automatic translations are good in some languages, but (as I've found by
staying here in Japan) *terrible* for others. It is my goal to seek out
translations from any communities that I can find, and getting them
involved on ading foreign langauge translations of the text -- once it's
decent :)

> I think that using the language chapters as reference is a good idea. I 
> would put a bigger emphasis on them.
> Talking about the Spanish Language Chapter List, I can say that there 
> are already some good expert on OpenLayers (and not only).
> I would suggest other projects with small/medium communities to do the same.

I'm still not sre I'd rather have these converesations on project
mailing lists rather than on the OpenLayers Users mailing list. In the
spanish local chapter list, the likelihood that someone is going to be
able to find the answer that was given on an OpenLayers issue is low.
Er, sorry, half asleep, not typing right: What I mean is, someone
looking for help with an OpenLayers bug is not going to look in the
Spanish list archives. But if someone has done a translation into
English, or heck, even sent the message entirely in Spanish there's
still a fair chance that it will be findable in the OpenLayers mailing

Also, I've seen too many cases where people have fixed bugs and never
mentioned anything about the bugfixes back to the OpenLayers community
to trust that the same wouldn't happen with local chapters. 

> A little note about "Interested in English Language List". I would avoid 
> to live this part here. If a lot of people starts to add his name there, 
> that page will convert soon in a mess, loosing the target of the message.
> I would leave to local chapters the organizations of list request if the 
> traffic on a single project (ex: OpenLayers) starts to be aggressive.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Essentially, this is a way to gaurge
the interest and abilities of people to pariticipate in a local language
list for the project> I don't see a way that can be gauged without
*some* kind of list -- most people will always be quiet if something
requires activve participation with an existing community. (The barrier
is simply too high.) Editing a wikipage is lower cost, and gives a
record of people interested in a particular language community for a
project -- that 'hard copy', so to speak, seems valuable  to me,
especially in comparison to something which (to me) seems more
transient, like sending an email to the italian or spanish mailing list. 

Christopher Schmidt
Web Developer

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