[Slackdocs] we need mainstream

Eric Hameleers eha at alienbase.nl
Thu Aug 23 15:09:26 CEST 2012

On Thu, 23 Aug 2012, Didier Spaier wrote:

> On 23/08/2012 13:13, Eric Hameleers wrote:
>> On Thu, 23 Aug 2012, Didier Spaier wrote:
>>> Hello everybody,
>>> On 23/08/2012 09:09, asteroid wrote:
>>>> Imho we need a clear way :
>>>>     - 1st en english
>>>>     - then translate (keeping the _same_ page name). That give us
>>>>       http://docs.slackware.com/pt-br:slackware:install and this is
>>>>       the portugal translation of the slackware:install page.
>>> I disagree.
>>> What is the rationale here?
>>> Why pages in languages other than English would need to be a translation 
>>> of existing English pages?
>>> Granted, before a page be included in the documentation it should be 
>>> checked from sort of a QA assurance,
>>> as are slackbuilds @ slackbuilds.org, in whatever language they be 
>>> written.
>>> But I don't think that would need to match the new page against an 
>>> existing one, written in English.
>>> What we need is:
>>> 1) Some basic rules to be followed, as for slackbuilds sumissions. I will 
>>> make proposals.
>>> 2) People volunteer and able to check that theses rule be applied in new 
>>> or edited pages, whatever the language used.
>>> I am confident that we can find enough skilled people to review pages 
>>> written in their native language.
>>> For instance I guess that Alien Bob would be able to review pages written 
>>> in Dutch ;)
>>> IMHO one of the main goals of the documentation is to encourage adoption 
>>> of Slackware Linux by as many people as
>>> possible all over the world. Having to say people not speaking English 
>>> "You should either learn English first",
>>> or "wait until somebody condescend to translate an Official English Page 
>>> for you" will not help to reach that goal,
>>> let alone "wait till English version be complete before we begin to 
>>> translate anything" as I have seen posted on LQ.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Didier
>> English is the primary language of the Wiki. That is a given.
>> in order for the Wiki to determine if a page is available in multiple 
>> languages (which will be visible in the language selection drop-down in the 
>> left sidebar) a page must have the same name in all languages - only the 
>> language prefix is different (prefixing fr: for instance).
>> I think iti s acceptible if someone writes a page in his own language 
>> first, on the condition that he creates a (possibly empty) english page as 
>> well. The english page could be a placeholder, informing that a localized 
>> version exists and that an editor is needed. Ideally the author of the 
>> localized page asks the co-operation of one of our editors to get a decent 
>> english translation into the Wiki. Google Translate service will be an 
>> essential tool in achiving that.
>> Se http://docs.slackware.com/slackdocs:styleguide#translating_a_page where 
>> I tried to summarize.
>> Eric
> What does "primary language" mean, and why should it be "a given"?
> Let's compare with Arch wiki. I am not sure at all that pages in "fr" or "nl" 
> have an equivalent in "en".
> I don't see any problem with that, as long as there be enough QA provided for 
> every page.
> I do not think that having every page in any other language first written in 
> English or even translated in English should be mandatory.
> In some cases it can even be irrelevant as the content on some page can be 
> needed only to match some cultural characteristics specific
> to a country or linguistic area.
> If a localized version -- in Farsi for instance, as there are already some in 
> the wiki ;) *is* a translation of a page in English or
> reverse, then and only then a consistent naming would useful.
> Now, "create an empty page in English to let know that a page in another 
> language as no equivalent in English" is at the implementation
> level. I only hope that doing that won't drive users in search of the English 
> version to a blank pages...
> There could be other ways to list untranslated_in_English pages. I will make 
> proposals if I find one.
> Anyhow, why not in the QA checklist include instructions to be followed or 
> questions to be answered by the original author
> and by the reviewer, like:
> - Doesn't this page duplicate another one (even if the name or title differ)?
> - If this page is a translation of another one, insure that their names be 
> identical.
> - Don't you think that this page's content would benefit people speaking 
> other languages, at least English?
>  If yes put it in the list_of_pages_awaiting_for_a_translation (whatever the 
> way this list be implemented).
> Though using it extensively I wouldn't rely on Google Translate for anything 
> but getting a vague understanding of what the page is about,
> but maybe that's only me.
> Regards,
> Didier

I stated that it was a given that the Wiki's primary language is english 
* I setup the wiki in a language which is most widely used on the internet
* One primary language had to be picked - because that is how the 
localization works - and I wanted it to be a language which could be 
supported by editors that both kikinovak and I can understand
* Slackware Linux has an english-only installer and english-only 
documentation. English is the natural first language for a documentation 

The above is not open to discussion.

The way the Wiki would go  forward with regard to localized content is 
open for discussion. I prefer to have an english version of any page that 
is present in the Wiki - because that would be natural for a wiki which 
targets a wide community of Slackware users. But I certainly understand 
your comment about the fact that people in other countries may want to 
write texts which have no relevance to people in other countries (our 
Farsi friends are a good example).
But, there is a danger in there. Again, farsi is a good example. The farsi 
pages are unreadable to me. I have no idea what is being discussed there. 
Is it legal? Is it offensive? Sexist? Racist? What is the quality of the 
text? Will it make our site look ridiculous? Is it spam?

We just do not have anyone in our minuscule editor team who speaks more 
than english and french.

For that reason, I am very hesitant in allowing pages that are not being 
translated into english. I think that by activating the "publish" plugin 
we will at least have a way of controlling what gets added: new pages will 
have to be approved by an editor before they become visible to 
not-logged-in visitors. Because of that, the author will have to contact 
one of the editors and that editor can use Google Translate to get at 
least some notion of the foreign content. The editor can then decide to 
work with the author to get at least an english placeholder page into the 

I do want to stick to the requirement of using english words for the page 
names. Even if I cannot read what's _inside_ the page, I want to be able 
to guess the topic by the page's name. Everybody - even people in remote 
countries - who uses Slackware knows enough english that that requirement 
will not be restrictive.

Your remarks about the QA process and the questions that could be asked 
from the author are good ones. Good fuel for keeping this discussion 


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