menthos is currently certified at Master level.

Name: Christian Rose
Member since: 2000-05-12 21:48:36
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I'm translating free software. I guess you can call me a translator. This means I'm one of those weird types that can spend countless hours on a lot of projects without ever getting the appreciation that the developers get.
A translation's target is naturally limited only to those who actually use this particular translation, which in most cases is a, sometimes small, part of the software's users in a particular country/locale. In the case of Swedish and GNU/Linux it is often a very small part... I think even documentators get more appreciation because they are by the nature of their work targeting all users on the same time, because original docs are written using English. Nevertheless, I think translation is also important. But anyway, I guess I wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't for the "scratch your own itch" syndrome, and freedom. Freedom to have software speak to you in whatever language you want, and prefer.

Of course, I also do bug reports, beta testing and stuff and so on, on various projects. You can't just translate and ignore errors while testing the software and translation. :-)
In fact, often you find errors that are completely unrelated to translation when you test the translation... Heh.

Anyway, projects I spend my time on include, but are not limited to, a handful of software in the Translation Project and XMMS. On those projects I'm only translating into Swedish. Projects I spend even more time on (besides just translating) include GnomeMeeting, Galeon, Nautilus, Red Hat Linux, and the GNOME Translation Project (coordinator for the Swedish team, and contact person for the GNOME Translation Project).


Recent blog entries by menthos

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2 Jul 2006 (updated 4 Jul 2006 at 22:09 UTC) »

I'm back from my 6th GUADEC. I actually got back early Saturday morning, but it has taken some time to sort things out. Interesting to see that it is actually almost as hot in the south of Sweden as in Vilanova, which is kind of rare. But naturally the surroundings are not nearly as dried up as in Spain. My gold fish are still alive and well in the small garden pond.

GUADEC was a big success, as always. The and Firefox l10n talks during the warm-up weekend were very interesting, but the difference in attitudes was astonishing. The guy was all about enabling different cultures and minority languages to create and view content in their own language. In short, every effort mattered.
On the other hand, the Firefox guy the next day focused primarily on the number of downloads a particular localization would bring. He would prioritize the methods and procedures for a big language over a smaller language any day, in the hope for higher download rates.
It's a pity that neither of them attended the other one's talk, because I think that would have brought an interesting discussion. I am fully convinced that we in GNOME are closer to the spirit in this area. Every effort matters, and while some of our tools and process doesn't currently fit every team, it is certainly our goal to make that happen.

Other talks that rocked was the "Creating Passionate Users" talks by Kathy Sierra. It was mostly documentation-oriented, but it truely made you want writing exciting technical docs, no matter how strange it sounds. Of course the "Big GNOME Deployments" talk also rocked. It's exciting to know that there are whole states where there are computers running GNOME in basically every village.

But the most exciting talk of all was the presentation of the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) talk, made by Jim Gettys. There are all sorts of challanges with that, both hardware-wise and software-wise. It is also poses a huge challenge for localization. The talk and discussions focused mostly on technical limits with i18n, and I forwarded the notes from this and discussed this with Danilo Segan, the intltool co-maintainer, and it looks like most of the issues can be solved.

Danilo also presented his new status pages at the conference. Danilo, you rock! Hopefully we can bring the status pages online soon. Unfortunately, I just learned that there has been some trouble with the shipment of the server that the GNOME Foundation was supposed to get donated for this purpose. Let's hope this gets sorted out.

Photo of Danilo Šegan

Among the new people that I met was Sigurd Gartmann, a Norwegian translator, and Benjamin Berg. Benjamin is a young GTK+ theme engine hacker from Germany, and he was all excited about his first GUADEC. He was even more excited when he got his hands on my Nokia 770 when we had a beer at a Vilanova beach cafe one evening. Only a few seconds later, he was all over the UI of the device, testing widget responsiveness and stuff. When I met Benjamin at lunch the last day of the conference, he was extremely happy: Appearantly he had since met and discussed with a Nokia developer, who then subsequently had given him a Nokia 770. I think that was an extremely good decision, and I am confident that we will hear more from Benjamin in the future...

Photo of Sigurd Gartmann

Photo of Benjamin Berg (middle) and Kristen Nielsen (right)

Last but not least, it seems everyone is thanking Quim Gil for the conference. Obviously, the conference would not have happened without Quim's efforts, but I think there is more to it than a "one single hero" story. I would like to express my thanks to all the volunteers that helped out with the conference. You guys really did rock, and the effort you accomplished is simply astonishing. A big thanks!

Lets hope we all meet together in Birmingham next year!

Update: You can find all my pictures at Flickr.

Some bad news: I probably won't be able to complete all Swedish GNOME 2.8 translations in time for the 2.8.0 release. There's just too little time left, even if I worked all hours a day on it. I'm the only one to blame for this, because I've been working much on other stuff lately.

Some good news instead: I just reported my 1000th GNOME bug report. I just wish I had been as good with triaging and resolving bugs.

And in other personal news, I yesterday learned that I had passed the last exam I need to get my M.Sc.EE degree. Huzzah! Now everything that's left is for me to finish the courses I have started, and some bureaucratic moves to actually get this on paper.

18 Mar 2004 (updated 18 Mar 2004 at 11:29 UTC) »

I really should write more often. Anyway, things are looking good in the GNOME 2.6 translations area. Even though I often complain about it I'm not entirely sure we've actually had more string freeze breakages this time around than before. Sometimes they just come in a single swoop (when people suddenly realize there is a freeze and they need/want to break it because of bug fixes) and we appear to be drowning in both actual string freeze breakages and breakage requests, while other times several weeks appear to pass by without a single thing when things have calmed down a bit. Just so that you're sure of it, I and other translators are immensely thankful to all developers who manage to not break the freezes. You know who you are, so feel proud!

We will have some new exciting language support in GNOME 2.6. Some new language translation teams have formed, and some older ones appear to have gotten a lot of new energy. The Canadian English and British English teams are examples of both of this. For those who cannot stand US English spellings, help is on its way in form of a new GNOME release. For those who prefer US English, it's still the default and obviously as supported as before.

In GNOME, a language counts as supported if it has more than 80% coverage. Among the new languages that has passed this barrier we find Arabic, Croatian, Mongolian, Lithuanian, Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian (Data shamelessly stolen from Kjartan). Still, things are changing rapidly as more translation teams commit their updated translations. And that's still almost a week old automated report... I'm excited to see the new one coming tomorrow.

I've managed to update the Swedish GNOME 2.6 translations to make them complete some weeks ago. I'd like to direct a special thanks to André Dahlqvist who has been tremendously helpful in reviewing the Swedish translations and reporting problems in them. So the GNOME Desktop & Development Platform release is fully translated into Swedish this time as well, even though I haven't managed to keep the Swedish translations of other GNOME-using software (such as Fifth Toe etc.) update in a similar manner -- I've simply had to prioritize the coming GNOME D&DP release.

In other news, I've made the Swedish Fedora translations complete again, and I've started to add and update many Swedish Translation Project translations, especially those that have relevancy to GNOME, like GStreamer. Unfortunately that means that I'm now responsible for 52 translations in the TP, but I think that I'll manage it somehow.

19 Apr 2003 (updated 19 Apr 2003 at 21:38 UTC) »

Yay. We have our first place back. For now. Things are changing rapidly.

Malcolm: sv@CHEF is actually completely valid.

Ok, first update this year. That Portuguese translator is really driving me nuts. He stole our first place! ;-)

17 older entries...


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