[sugar] [9.1 Proposal] i18n and l10n: 9.1 and beyond

Sayamindu Dasgupta sayamindu
Fri Oct 17 16:29:58 EDT 2008

I would like to talk on some of the enhancements that some of us have
been speaking about the i18n/l10n on the XO. The areas I would like to
cover include:

a) Input methods: Out current input system (XKB) is not enough for
Chinese/Japanese/Korean, and even existing customers like Ethiopia
have needs which are met with considerable difficulty with XKB. For
9.1, I propose that we switch to SCIM[1], which should take care of
most (if not all) of our current requirements.

b) Multiple, non English fallback languages: Many of our users will
probably be multilingual. A Aymara speaker would like to see the UI
strings falling back to Spanish translations in absence of Aymara
instead of the normal, default English. We have the existing
infrastructure in our core i18n infrastructure, implementing this is
simply a matter of making changes in Sugar (and maybe Rainbow).

c) Language packs: The current system of language packs is not very
reliable (it overwrites the original translations in the system,
installations cannot be easily undone, no versioning, etc). I want to
switch to a RPM based language pack system for 9.1, which will be
easier to deploy (especially if the customization key mechanism gets
support for RPM). This will require support for multiple locale
directories, and I'll talk about that as well  (Ubuntu uses a similar
approach - I plan to reuse their patches if possible).

d) User modifiable translations: There has been a number of ideas on
this - initially (during my last visit to 1CC), we were thinking of a
"Translate Activity" which would let children add/modify translations,
and optionally let them share the translations over the mesh. SJ and
Scott have recently suggested a wiki-like editable UI, which would,
definitely be much cooler ;-). I want to brainstorm on this, and try
to figure out the amount of time we need to do this, the advantages,
risks, tradeoffs, involved etc.

I would also like feedback from the translation community on things
which we can do to make your work easier. I will definitely bring
these issues up in the talk/discussion that I have/


Sayamindu Dasgupta

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