[IAEP] [SLOBS] Motions to create position of Translation-Community Manager

Dave Crossland dave at lab6.com
Wed Apr 6 19:09:27 EDT 2016

Hi Lionel!

On 6 April 2016 at 15:56, Lionel Laské <lionel at olpc-france.org> wrote:

> I'm just considering that the limited resources of SugarLabs should be
> dedicated in priority to increase the community and I'm not convinced at
> all that translation is the better way. At least the ratio cost to invest
> (12000$/year) vs result in community improvement is not in favor of the
> motion for me. In short: money could be better invest elsewhere (marketing,
> events, school kit, ...).

I had been pondering the same thing in terms of thinking about SL 2016-2020
strategy when considering the wisdom of paying for translation labour.

But http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Translation-Community_Manager has already
dealt with this. It says,

The Sugar Labs Oversight Board must affirm continuation (or renewal) of the
contract before the end of each 4-month cycle.

So, risk posed by the 3 motions in this thread is that $4k will be spent
and nothing will happen, or that something luke warm will happen in the
first cycle and the SLOBs will give Chris a 2nd round. We are already into
the 4th month, so there's only 2 more 4 month cycles left this year (since
December is a wash with vacations pretty much everywhere Christianity
touched.) So we're looking at spending $8k for 2 TCM cycles this year.

To know if that is a lot of money or a little, it has to be contextualised.
In terms of the budget for by buddy who is a freelance author, its a couple
of months worth of income, a big amount. In terms of the budget I manage
for one of my IT consulting clients, its a rounding error.

So, for Sugar Labs today, here in early 2016 - there's a good stack of
benjamins here! SL has sort of "limited resources," but we are looking at
5% or 10% of the capital base. A couple of years ago, $8k would have been
30% of the base, and in that case, I totally agree, more care could be
spent on considering the opportunity costs.

But here today, I think there is much more risk in NOT spending the 4 or 8
big ones. It will suck for the people who have done the legwork to get us
to where we are today on this position, and decelerating the momentum of
the community generally at the moment would be unwise.

We know that Samson is drafting his application for a translation project,
that will likely perform much better with a TCM in place. That is another
$12k. If there is no TCM, that puts his project at risk if it is funded, or
might make it impossible for the SLOB to agree to fund his project. I don't
think that would be good.

You mention the opportunity costs, but
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Translation-Community_Manager says the 2nd
duty of the TCM will be to

Advise the Sugar Labs Oversight Board of supporting projects that need
funding and to manage these projects, if approved;

I note that it does not say "supporting translation projects," just
"supporting projects."

Well, as Adam says, the Trip Advisor money was intended to be used on
translation. Even if there is technically no binding agreement for it to be
used that way, at least SOME of it ought to be used that way, and I think
translation can be made part of pretty much anything. Here's a few ideas
that I can think of immediately as I write this email :)

- The Treasurer office has to be funded to be filled, and since disbursing
funds for translation projects requires a Treasurer, then if TA funds are
used to fill that office, than even though that paid time is used on
disbursing funds for non-translation projects, it is required for the
translation projects to happen so Trip Advisor's intent in honoured.
Similarly shelling out for new servers - or a professional system
administrator to go on site and reinstall the servers from scratch, given
they are probably rootkitted - is pretty important to keep the whole ship

- Last night I threw out the idea of filing a gap in the OER landscape for
learning material on how to start a successful small co-operative
non-profit business, which local labs could use. If a local lab will put
the translation of Sugar Desktop and Sugarizer and X-Y Activities on its
annual goals, but needs such an OER to be made in a booksprint, then using
the funds from TA on the book sprint seems okay to me.

- Spending funds from TA on buying up some T shirt stocks to sell on the
website - if the T shirt text was to be translated into every locale we
have more than 50% Sugar Desktop translation?

- A travel bursary for a translation sprint that just so happens to be the
few days prior to the annual Sugar Labs Summit.

So I imagine there are LOTS of things a TCM can energies that can involve
translation and fit the TCM remit, but have real impact in other areas of
the project too, such as those you mentioned.

Finally, reiterating my point to Samson, my hope is that each paid TCM will
actually pay for themselves by organizing translation projects that bring
even more benjamins in the door.
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