Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.


Team localization
Originally uploaded by niallkennedy.
Yesterday I had a chance to attend MashPit. After much deliberation over what should be tackled, a "self organizing" team that included Cal Henderson, Matt Mullenweg, and myself decided to wrestle collaborative localization. It's one of those problems that doesn't get much love because when a team (open source or not) has to tackle it, they do whatever minimum is necessary to make the pain go away. Larger companies just pay bucket-loads to make it disappear.

Clearly, we need something better. Something shared, something in-situ...something usable by real, live people.

In just shy of 4 hours, we went from a bunch of drawings to a working, demo-able system that will let people quickly post translations to a central location, (eventually) import from and export to other localization formats like gettext, and provide developers with a straightforward way to generate pages that let anyone donate translations.

We don't have a name for the project yet, so suggestions are welcome, and public (anonymous) SVN is available from:

We've got a lot of work left to do, but a translation-commons is something that everyone needs. Time to make it happen.