Extensions and translations

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arod-1
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Extensions and translations

Post by arod-1 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:21 pm

hi.

so i could not find any "official" way to add a new language to an existing extension.

what happens as a result, is that the local communities in different languages (or at least, some of them), grab existing extensions, unpack them, add a translation to their local language, repack them with the new language added, and distribute the modified package locally.

this is, of course, not the right thing to do: there is no good mechanism for the local communities to keep their extensions up to date, and people will end up using out of date extensions, potentially some with security risks that were already found and fixed in extension DB, plus they will miss the latest added functionality.

the alternative, is for the translator to get in touch with the authors of the extension, and ask them to add the new language into the package. the downside of this is that it require cooperation, synchronization, and it requires people to do make unnecessary efforts. in reality, i'm afraid many will spip this, and will resort to redistribution extensions locally.

what we need is a way to submit translation to an extension which will not require the extension author to be in the loop, i.e., a way for a translator to submit some files, stating "this is a translation for language X for extension Y", and have the extension team take it from there.

if such a mechanism already exists, i think i missed it - maybe this is a sign that the mechanism is not well documented...


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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by rxu » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:19 am

For the official extensions, the way is posting your translation in a special sticky topic, f.e. like this https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/exte ... pic/130751
But you have to track changes for en language to stay up to date (new entries are going to be added by ext developers in English to avoid braking boards to be translated later by translators).
For other extensions, I guess you can either refer to the ext support/development topic to get in touch with its author, and/or submit a pull request, say, to the Github repo (if any).

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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by Marshalrusty » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:12 am

This is actually a fairly difficult problem.

The primary goal is for users to be able to find the latest version of an extension, and the secondary goal is for it to be translated into the language of their choice.

When the local communities repackage the extension, it at least ensures that users are downloading a working package with a compatible language. It doesn't guarantee that it's the latest version, and the repackaging could introduce problems, agreed.

If we were to create some kind of database for extension languages, it would be a huge mess. Users would need to find a language pack for an extension, and then make sure that it is compatible with the version of the extensions that they have installed. We would also have no way to verify the quality of the translations (this is already difficult enough with the translations for the main software) and would need to determine how to handle duplicates.

The alternative, as you say, is for translators to submit their translations directly to the extension author. While this isn't perfect, it at least ensures that the two things are packaged together and easily installable. It also lets the author decide how to handle multiple translations in the same language and so on.

So if you have a viable solution that doesn't result in a giant database of outdated extension language packs that nobody can make heads or tails of, I would be most interested. If you would be interested in helping set something like this up, for example, I'm sure we would eagerly provide you with any necessary assistance.
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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by Ger » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:16 am

Would it be possible to add a tab to the extensions DB called "translations" where a user can upload their translation? Uploading would result in sending a notification to the extension author an a list of uploaded translations in the translations tab. The author can choose whether or not to include the translation in the package. Of course, it would be nice if the author can indicate the change is just the addition of a translation, thereby making the validation quick and easy.
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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by Pony99CA » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:25 am

Marshalrusty wrote:The alternative, as you say, is for translators to submit their translations directly to the extension author. While this isn't perfect, it at least ensures that the two things are packaged together and easily installable. It also lets the author decide how to handle multiple translations in the same language and so on.
That's probably the best way for now. It's the author's Extension and he should decide whether a translation should be added or not.
Marshalrusty wrote:So if you have a viable solution that doesn't result in a giant database of outdated extension language packs that nobody can make heads or tails of, I would be most interested. If you would be interested in helping set something like this up, for example, I'm sure we would eagerly provide you with any necessary assistance.
I would handle this the same way that I would handle extensions. An extension would list the earliest version of phpBB that it was compatible with in its "manifest" (or whatever you want to call it). I would also add that version as a search criterion, so that when somebody was searching for extensions, they could specify their version of phpBB and filter out extensions that didn't work with their version (by default, those extensions would show up, but with a Warning next to them to encourage them to upgrade phpBB).

If the user downloaded one of them and tried to apply it to their out-of-date version of phpBB, they'd get an error.

When the extension author uploaded a new version of the extension and it was approved by the Extensions Teams, the old one would be deleted. This might not be friendly to users who haven't upgraded yet if they need to download an old version of the extension, but that's life.

Translations (both for phpBB itself and for extensions) would work similarly. The translation would list the earliest version of phpBB or the extension that it was compatible with. When trying to add an out-of-date translation, the user would be warned (but the translation could still be applied -- most translations will still work, but some strings won't be translated).

If the translation was missing strings, phpBB would try accessing the string in the board's language (if different than the translation) and, if that wasn't found, in the default language (UK English). That way something would always be shown.

When a new version of a translation was updated, it would erase the old version just like with extensions.

I haven't used phpBB 3.1 yet as an admin, so maybe a lot of that is already there. Whatever isn't, should be. :D

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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by DavidIQ » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:53 am

Ger wrote:Would it be possible to add a tab to the extensions DB called "translations" where a user can upload their translation? Uploading would result in sending a notification to the extension author an a list of uploaded translations in the translations tab. The author can choose whether or not to include the translation in the package. Of course, it would be nice if the author can indicate the change is just the addition of a translation, thereby making the validation quick and easy.
Most of us have our contributions on github where the flow is pretty much this. Others will simply email or PM the translation to the author as well in which case it just gets added to the repo. So really this is already in place. Not sure it's the ideal solution though but I think it's as good as it gets especially if they send in pull requests, which makes it easier.
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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by arod-1 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:46 pm

DavidIQ wrote:Most of us have our contributions on github where the flow is pretty much this.
who do you mean when you say "most of us"? are you a translator, and this "us" means "the translators"?
if so, i do not think you have your facts right. i do not believe most translators have github account[1]

if this "us" means anything other than "the translators", then i think your response is simply irrelevant. this thread deals with translations of extensions - i'd appreciate it if you can stay on-topic, or rather, i'd appreciate it if people will avoid making off-topic comments.

peace.

__________________________________________________________________

[1] as always, i might be wrong here: do you have any evidence or statistics showing that most translators, or rather, translators to most languages, are indeed using github?).

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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by DavidIQ » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:56 pm

arod-1 wrote:Who do you mean when you say "most of us"? are you a translator, and this "us" means "the translators"?
if so, i do not think you have your facts right. i do not believe most translators have github account[1]

if this "us" means anything other than "the translators", then i think your response is simply irrelevant. this thread deals with translations of extensions - i'd appreciate it if you can stay on-topic, or rather, i'd appreciate it if people will avoid making off-topic comments.

peace.

__________________________________________________________________

[1] as always, i might be wrong here: do you have any evidence or statistics showing that most translators, or rather, translators to most languages, are indeed using github?).
  1. Don't back-seat moderate. It's against the rules.
  2. You're way off. When I said "Us" I meant extension authors as extensions are what I assume you're talking about here, an assumption I made after you said this:
    arod-1 wrote:so i could not find any "official" way to add a new language to an existing extension.
    I also assumed that since I posted as the "Extensions Team Leader" that you'd surmise that I was talking about extension authors.
  3. Contrary to what you said, the translators that do the translations for the main product all have github accounts so it's a fair assumption that someone that wants to provide a translation already has a github account. The evidence I have to back this up is that I am internally involved with all teams on phpBB.com and therefore know what the translators do and don't do here.
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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by RMcGirr83 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:39 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:The alternative, as you say, is for translators to submit their translations directly to the extension author. While this isn't perfect, it at least ensures that the two things are packaged together and easily installable. It also lets the author decide how to handle multiple translations in the same language and so on.
I can see this being a gigantic burden on the extension author. If the author makes a change/adds to a lang var then the lang pack would have to be updated too. I can't speak for anyone else but my Estonian, French, Spanish...basically everything that isn't en is right up there with non-existent. This is why I am telling users to not push to my github repos as it won't get merged into the extension but, rather, translate it and place in a topic in the support area.

EG, https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/exte ... pic/138396

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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by arod-1 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:08 pm

DavidIQ wrote: [*]Don't back-seat moderate. It's against the rules.
asking you to not go off-topic is not "back seat moderation".
DavidIQ wrote: [*]You're way off. When I said "Us" I meant extension authors as extensions are what I assume you're talking about here, an assumption I made after you said this:
arod-1 wrote:so i could not find any "official" way to add a new language to an existing extension.
this is a simple stumble in reading comprehension: i did not talk about "extension authors".
please read my original post again: i was talking about people in local communities (many of them don't even bother to create a phpbb.com account) who _translate_ extensions (in contrast to extension writers), and then re-distribute the extensions, with their translation added, in those local communities.
having perfect knowledge of what's going on _here_ does not teach one anything about the situation.

i don't want to rehash my first post, but your response leads me to believe you did not read it carefully.

so here is the question again: are there any guidelines for the distribution of translations to extensions?
how should these translation be consumed by forum operators?
how does it mesh with consuming the extensions themselves?


peace.

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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by DavidIQ » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:50 pm

arod-1 wrote:asking you to not go off-topic is not "back seat moderation".
It is. Let's leave it at that since no infractions are being given out at this time. :)
arod-1 wrote:are there any guidelines for the distribution of translations to extensions?
how should these translation be consumed by forum operators?
how does it mesh with consuming the extensions themselves?
There aren't any guidelines unfortunately. We've never really found a good way to deal with this. Github doesn't seem to have anything viable at the moment for dealing with translations and using github to accept translations is a bit tedious anyways as stated by Rich. There are other translation services that might help with this but we haven't found any that can be used properly.

The Extensions Development Team had gone the route of posting a topic for translations but that obviously requires an account here on phpBB.com and it didn't seem to work out well as we seem to be including the contributed translations with the official extensions now. Any way you look at it though the person translating will need an account wherever a solution or service is selected.

Distributing the translations with the extension itself seems to be the best approach, unless someone can provide some ideas on a better way to do this and allow users outside of phpBB.com to provide translations...
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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by arod-1 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:18 pm

thanks.

my intentions raising the issue was not to promote any specific solution/rule/course of action, but rather to raise an issue which i perceive as a real problem, and solicit ideas and proposals from the community and the team.

if no good solution can be found at this point in time, i at least hope we'll remember that the issue exists, and will try to come up at some point in the future with "formal" guidelines for extension translators, that will hopefully work better than what we have now.

peace.

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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by DavidIQ » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:44 pm

One possible solution would be to allow anyone registered here to submit translations for any extension through the official CDB, which would get auto-validated against the extension's language variables (to ensure none are missed and to ensure there's no funny business going on like rogue PHP code) and auto-approved if it passes and if there is no other translation of the same language from another author. The translation would need to be reviewed in the case it's detected as a duplicate. Once that is done then the forum installation would have some mechanism to check for other available extension languages.

Some of this is already in place as a mater of fact. We just never used it here due to the implicated security risks involved. Also the translations group here already has a language pack validator so some of the rest is already doable through an external script.

How's that?
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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by Ancica » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:08 pm

official language packs should contain (and) validated/released extensions' lps. ;)
question is would official translators be willing to translate all of them. :D
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Re: Extensions and translations

Post by arod-1 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:33 pm

DavidIQ wrote:One possible solution would be....

How's that?
(truncated for brevity - quoting just to make it clear which post i'm responding to. post itself is 2 above)

as far as i understand what you are saying, i think it's an excellent solution.
one unanswered question (or at least, one question i did not understand the answer to) is how extension upgrades should be handled:
what happens when the extension author publishes a new version, which includes a new language variable? does this automatically renders all existing translations "invalid"? and when someone (either the original translator or someone else) wants to fix it by translating the extra variable, what is the process? do users have access to "unapproved" translations so they can correct the problem(s), or will every translator need to start from scratch?


except for this one point, and as far as i understand what you said, it sounds to me like a good solution.
once this (or something else) becomes the "official guideline", it would be nice it it can be advertised to the localized communities.

peace.

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