Letter to my friend Red Hat,
Zanata is not my favorite tool, I don’t hide it. However, I don’t like the idea that a translation platform with real advantages collapses by Red Hat’s decision alone.
This is a bad signal, especially after firing the majority of in-house translators in 2017.
What are Zanata’s strengths?
If, in my opinion,Zanata does not help the Fedora translation community enough, the tool has a real value.
It makes the translator very efficient in his work and allows for decentralized community management.
On the translator’s efficiency: the translation memory is very good, searches and replacements are efficient, the sentences to be translated are displayed by 20, with automatic saves.
On decentralized administration: anyone can add a project, feed it manually or via a command line interface.
It is probably for these great qualities that our friends at Framasoft elected him: https://trad.framasoft.org.
And this association is a driving force on various major issues in the free digital world.
When you look at it, it’s quite close to how Transifex works, a private platform.
Why am I saying that Zanata is collapsing?
- September 9, Alex Aeng leaves the project: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/thread/DDDEM7U2DARZNGZZUA3XZF4MO3YE53JW/
- September 21, Sean Flanigan leaves the project: https://www.redhat.com/archives/zanata-users/2018-September/msg00002.html
It made me want to see who the main contributors were: https://github.com/zanata/zanata-platform/graphs/contributors?from=2017-07-26&to=2018-10-25&type=c
Alex and Sean have been the main contributors for a long time, followed by the next two:
- Earl Floden, who left Red Hat in August: https://www.linkedin.com/in/earlmarkfloden/
- Patrick Huang, who left Red Hat in August: https://www.linkedin.com/in/huangpatrick/
At the same time,Brian Excelbierd asks me a lot of questions about how translation and regionalization work. As much as his interest in the subject is certain, so much so is the timing. My perception is a desire to understand the impact on Fedora.
What can we conclude from this?
That the English language still dominates the world of free software, and that linguistic diversity is for many only a necessary burden for some fundamentalists.
There is a lot of talk about inclusion and diversity in our communities, and language should be an integral part of it.
English is a major barrier for many. Jargon and the systematic borrowing of English words is also a barrier to understanding.
Their use is explained by both intellectual laziness and the fact that the One language is English.
Developers, you have many responsibilities in our world, from the use of your tools to their impact on their users. Do not let our ability to think in our languages die because you no longer know the words. Do not abandon users who are not part of the English-speaking elite.
Contributors, ask for support for your language, ask for appropriate translation tools, report errors, but above all, express yourself in simple words. It is rare to really need English words to explain a concept, and yes, an English word may require several words in another language.
Goodbye, Zanata. Many will miss you.
Thanks again to its developers: Alex Aeng, Sean Flanigan, Patrick Huang, Earl Floden, David Mason and the others.
Are you really my friend Red Hat?
We should think about financing a little more things that are not pipes, tools and products.
Humans and their cultures also need attention, and if you, as a giant, do not see it, do not finance it, who will?