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#1 2006-11-18 02:05:48

sud_crow
Member
From: Argentina
Registered: 2003-06-30
Posts: 545

International Communities

Hi everyone!

I'm getting a bit of free time, and wanted to express some thoughts I've been having.

For some time now, the links to the international forums have been removed from the front page, and placed under a link called "Non-English Forums".

This was a move that (at least to the Spanish community) has not benefited us. I'm not sure about the others, but i think they weren't either.

The thing is that Arch Linux needs some localized communities, so it can start to grow outside English speaking countries. All the international Arch sites were founded with that idea I think, and lately, after meeting some more people in my country using Arch, i found out they didn't know about the Spanish (or more precisely Hispanic) Community, and so, they didn't contribute with documentation, answers or projects.

Just moments ago, i found a couple of post about someone trying to help with the translation of the wiki to Spanish (in Dusty's wiki volunteers post). He was about to start from scratch, because (it seems) he didn't knew about the Spanish community or Wiki. Even though this could be his fault, no one pointed out that there was such a community, and that he could use the articles there to bring them back to the official wiki. Or maybe, start contributing there.

I think Arch is not paying enough attention to their international users, and by not promoting the international communities, its hurting them and ultimately, itself.

So, I wanted to propose a couple of things, although not great ones, they at least should help a bit:

1) If the international communities links are going to stay under a page other than the front one, then, call this link "International Communities" or "International forums". Not the actual "Non-English".

2) Keep the links up-to-date. The German one changed quite some time ago.

3) Link to the sites, not directly to the forums (this is the French case, although i dont know if they requested it this way).

4) Make more accessible the templates and systems used for the page style. I noticed that the German and French sites have the (if not the same) look and feel of the original Arch site (at least in the Front Page and Wiki). How do you do that? Is there any page documenting this?

I hope some of this is taken into account, there are plenty of interesting things for the international communities to do (primary concern is localization), but we cant do it without the help of Arch itself. It would be nice if one of the developerts, TUs or manteiners would take care of the 'international matter' and start integrating the different communities for the common goal of promoting Arch.

Regards,
Leonardo Gallego
www.archlinux.com.ar


Leonardo Andrés Gallego
www.archlinux-es.org || Comunidad Hispana de Arch Linux

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#2 2006-11-18 03:05:21

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: International Communities

For the most part, I agree with all of this, trying to achieve equality among the languages is a high priority for me. However, I would like to propose a different solution: consolidating all the communities.

The international communities sprang up because interested users wanted to help support Arch in their own language. This is WONDERFUL. Arch itself has become more and more internationalized, and a lot of the devs are non-English, so they know the issues. This is not the case in the "official" Arch community.

However, I don't like that the international communities are all separated. They have very little in common and are all run by different people to varying degrees of quality. There is not much in the way of interlinking or interaction between the different communities.

To me, the ideal solution is to have only one wiki, and only one forum. The wiki can be internationalized so that each page is available in different languages, and the forum can either have a single subforum for each language (in the cases where there are not very many users of that language), or several subforums for each language if the language is popular enough. The benefits are that wiki pages can link to each other (so someone who knows three languages can find the page in one language and if they prefer to read it in another they can easily find the other translation), that multilingual forum users can get to know each other in a single place instead of frequenting different communities, and perhaps most importantly, only one set of software needs to be maintained, rather than duplicating effort to maintain forums and wikis by by members of different communities. I'm not a big fan of segregation.

I don't really know of any technical or social reasons not to do this (I'm sure they will be mentioned), but the political barriers may be pretty big. I know from experience that it feels nice to be ranked among the well known and respected heads of your community. Having all this integration can diminish that sense of self-worth. Plus managing smaller projects independently is most certainly easier than trying to coordinate and cooperate to manage a larger one.

I think its obvious that if the forums and wikis were consolidated, more forum advisers and wiki maintainers would be required to manage the larger project. The ideal choices for these positions would be the people that are currently doing them in the current international communities. I'm just not sure if many people would be interested in this kind of integration; I would like feedback from the other communities on it.  The response was slightly negative when we talked about subforums a while back (http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?t=25959), but the main reason was that it would split the international communities. What I am proposing is that the community is already split (based on nationality) and that it would be nice to combine them.

Thanks for any feedback on the idea.

Dusty

PS: Regardless of response, I think sud_crow's suggestions are fair and should be taken into account ASAP, even if this bigger project is accepted.

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#3 2006-11-18 11:43:35

kozaki
Member
From: London >. < Paris
Registered: 2005-06-13
Posts: 638
Website

Re: International Communities

Those suggestions make a lot of sense to me as well.
The benefits of wiki pages beeing linked to each other rather that splitted in douzains of sites, would simplify not only their construction/translation but also simplify search for users !

Snowman is right about "the political [& ego] barriers [that] may be pretty big" to consolidating all the communities.
Yet I see another advantage of such a federation of efforts & URLs: This would put a limit to leadership issues in i18n communities, such as the French one last summer (where lots of the most active contributors finally had to create another portal as there efforts were kindof castrated by absolutist views of the original french AL's portal's maintainer). That would also greatly benefit to the community.

I guess i18n users/contributors would rather have their forum the way they like, as well as their portals to discuss & develop their own projects in their language. This should be view as a "plus" as long as wiki & doc are consolidated.


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#4 2006-11-18 12:14:01

Romashka
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2005-12-07
Posts: 1,054

Re: International Communities

I agree with Dusty. I don't like multiple archlinux*.* sites with own forums, wikies, etc. While there's no big difference for me will international forums be on own sites or all on one archlinux.org, with wikies there is bigger issues. Having many international wikies on arhclinux*.* sites and translated versions on wiki.archlinux.org is simply a senseless duplication of work, and articles are out of sync almost all time.
In my opinion the best solution will be to move all translated wiki articles to wiki.archlinux.org and try to keep all languages in sync here.

IMHO it will be nice to have archlinux*.* sites as places for local news, user meetings announcements, CD shipment etc. + forums, but forums can also be moved to bbs.archlinux.org. Of course, moving international forums to bbs.archlinux.org will require much work, but I think it is not impossible. Is this needed? Well, there could be just links to international forums on archlinux.org, and let international communities maintain their forums by themselves. But having all forums on bbs.archlinux.org will allow small international communities that don't have own website to have a place for discussion here.

About archlinuxfr.org vs. archlinux.fr - I don't know what situation will be if their forums and wiki's will be integrated into archlinux.org, but I think (and hope) this will help to eliminate community split (however it's important to have their leaders to be interested in eliminating this split).


to live is to die

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#5 2006-11-18 14:36:51

Pierre
Developer
From: Bonn
Registered: 2004-07-05
Posts: 1,950
Website

Re: International Communities

I hope this discussion wont end as an flame-war and we finally get a compromise accepted by everyone.

I talked to a lot of people (devs and users) about this problem. I am tiered of discussing the pros and cons about this; you all should know them.

The only real problem I see with the current situation is to few collaboration of the international sites and archlinux.org.

If we start working together we would all benefit from network of separated archlinux-sites.

The staff of archlinux.org has to accept that international users want a "complete" site in their native language and not just a subforum or a few translated wiki-pages.

On the other hand the international communities must work together and should`t start their own install-Cds or repositories.

How can we achieve this? Perhaps it would be a good idea to discuss this at arch-ml or even create a separate i18n-ml. This way we could share a cooperate design for example.

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#6 2006-11-18 16:09:04

sud_crow
Member
From: Argentina
Registered: 2003-06-30
Posts: 545

Re: International Communities

Hi everyone,

I'm glad to see such good replies.

After reading them, I came to the conclusion there are 2 positions, there is the idea of
1) Integrating the international communities to the site (wikis first, forums next, portal later?), or the other,
2) Of making some kind of ring, were they can collaborate between them, unify looks and maintain complete independence from the official site (wikis, forums and portals).

I must say that for the short implementation it would take, I agree with the 2nd position, expressed by Pierre but i would like to get (some time in the future) to the 1st, made by Dusty.

This is about ego and recognition to some point for some people (I can't say I dont like being recognized for what I do, so I'm one), but mostly about having half-baked information, documentation, and collaboration sites. Above all, my interest is to see Arch grow locally, if possible.

Although I find Dusty's idea extremely appealing, I also find it a bit annoying for those users looking for information to go from one site to another. If we integrate the different languages into the official wiki, we would be jumping between a site to see the wikis, another to post in a forum, and check the news in both. This is not practical. I do that, but i maintain one of the communities, so I don't care.

If this were to be implemented as a whole, and i mean, the forums, the wiki and the portal translated and available in each language, then, this would be Arch giving official international support, which i don't think its ready to do just yet.
I think this kind of approach is quite a difficult one, but none the less, one that sooner or later needs to be done.

The international communities are exactly that. International users, who want most (and if possible all) of the content, news and interaction in their own language in one single place. What we need is a place to make them collaborate between each other (i18n mail list by Pierre seems a great idea) for a start, and maybe then start integrating them into Arch's official site.

We could start with this, make a place for the different communities to collaborate, and then start planning (but seriously, through some kind of project) what Dusty is proposing... with a larger time frame.

Is there any chance we can get the arch-i18n mailing list?


Leonardo Andrés Gallego
www.archlinux-es.org || Comunidad Hispana de Arch Linux

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#7 2006-11-18 16:34:12

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: International Communities

I think you may be right in saying that Arch isn't ready for full internationalization support. As an English-only user, I'm not certain what the state of ArchLinux internationalization is as a distribution. Ie: forgetting about the sites and communities and focusing on the configuration.

In this light, having different communities does make sense. The wikis could theoretically still be integrated by inter-wiki linking, assuming everyone could agree to use the same wiki software.

As far as linking between different sites goes, you're going to have that anyway. I'm pretty sure there is very little possibility of internationalizing AUR or flyspray, so you'll be linking off-site for those anyway. Linking to the wiki wouldn't be much different. The WWW is mostly pretty seamless anyway, its just a matter of hosting. ;-)

Now, the thing that leaves me in a right little mess is that right now I am trying to clean up the wiki. My life would be absolutely wonderful if I could focus on an English-only wiki and assume that all the other languages will take care of themselves. But that's not the case, because not all languages have a separate community. If we have to support translations anyway; it makes sense that this infrastructure be general enough to support all languages.  Further, a lot of the people working on the wiki don't speak English as their primary language, asking them to migrate to their own community will cripple the effort.

In other words, the issue I am looking at is that while it may be true that Arch isn't ready to be considered fully internationalized, its gone too far to make the claim that it is English-only either.

I guess the best bet is to support the international communities rather than ignoring them, and to simultaneously encourage them to migrate at least their wikis to wiki.archlinux.org in the long run. We're working hard right now to design a fully internationalized wiki, it would be good to not let this work go to waste.

Dusty

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#8 2006-11-18 17:21:59

Pierre
Developer
From: Bonn
Registered: 2004-07-05
Posts: 1,950
Website

Re: International Communities

I am glad that we are on the way of finding a working solution. :-)

Currently I see not only technical but also organisational difficulties in "merging everything together". Arch did not care about internationalisation in the past. I don`t blame anybody for this but the result was several unofficial communities growing up.

And I still think this is the best thing we can do at the moment. ;-)

@Dusty: I think interwiki-inks are the solution for connecting all wikis. Additional connection between articles written in different languages is not needed or even a problem. (see current situation with all languages within one wiki)

To sum things up: I don not see any reason for merging all forums/wikis into only one. "Linking" everything to each other would be enough and should be our goal.

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#9 2006-11-18 17:42:14

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: International Communities

Pierre wrote:

To sum things up: I don not see any reason for merging all forums/wikis into only one. "Linking" everything to each other would be enough and should be our goal.

Having everything in one wiki allows the internationalization to be done automatically. Having everything interlinked means that every page in every wiki is going to have to have a link to every translation in every other wiki maintained manually. Its simply not going to happen, because nobody will care enough to do it.

In the short term, I think somebody should collect a list of links to the international community portals and submit a bug report asking that points 1-3 from sud_crow's post be implemented; its a quick thing to do, I just don't have time myself; this is my last free day and I'm spending it on upgrading mediawiki.

Point #4 will take a bit of doing, we're working on doing a better job with the unified header, page templates, etc. I'll try to have this information provided so that international communities can choose to use them if they wish. Eventually, it should be possible to have CSS and templates for the main page, the official wiki, and the official forums. Currently, however, all of this is a real mess and we're working on it.

The question about integration can wait until later. For the moment, we intend to provide support for an internationalized wiki, but its not available yet. When this happens, the international communities can independently decide whether or not they wish to port their wiki contents into the official one.

Dusty

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#10 2006-11-18 17:56:32

benoitc
Member
Registered: 2004-11-11
Posts: 62
Website

Re: International Communities

Pierre point remember me I bought one month ago th archlinux-planet.org/.info exactly for this. The point was to create a website that aggregate data from international website in one site + adding an interactive maps of archlinux users to it. Something like a planet but more features. I'm ready to help to build such website and it some way it could answer to the growth of international websites. It could be also only a section on archlinux.org. Dunno. What do you think about it ?

About interwiki links  it could be a solution. In fact since we put the French wiki under mediawiki, we already start to do it and this is our challenge in next weeks . The problem is, like say pierre, to not have the counterpart in other language. But i think if we define it as an achievement it could be done. See gentoo-wiki.com for that.

Merging forum is more difficult than merging wiki imho. All forums have their organization and for cultural aspect some people prefer having their own forum. It was the case cas when I ask for it one year ago. So dunno. Moreover, how in this case could we transfr all history ?

To kozaki. archlinuxfr.org  lost some of their member that was active on the forum, true. But only some members, there are plenty more interesting active people on archlinuxfr.org...  These guys decided to create their website. This is their own decision. But to be active on the the forum don't imply having administration and direction of this website, especially when you don't respect your engagement when you ask for more participation.... That's the point. End of discussion.

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#11 2006-11-18 17:59:33

sud_crow
Member
From: Argentina
Registered: 2003-06-30
Posts: 545

Re: International Communities

I agree with Dusty that integrating the Wiki is the way to go, but, as things are right now, the best thing is at least to start linking each other to the main page.

I can file the bug report about those 1-3 points

For the 4th we can wait wink If there is something we can do to help, just call.

Although the integration question can hold, i think the i18n mailing list would help a lot to start making progress towards a more international distribution (in all senses, as the ISO is not as multi-lingual as it could be).

Is there any way that you Dusty, or you Pierre, make it happen? Maybe proposing it to the arch ML, so Judd sees it?


Leonardo Andrés Gallego
www.archlinux-es.org || Comunidad Hispana de Arch Linux

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#12 2006-11-18 19:03:57

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: International Communities

I'm not personally on the Arch mailing list; I'm not a big fan of it. I would suggest that you either contact Judd directly or get on the arch mailing list to get an internationalization list. Like I said, there are a lot of devs interested in internationalization, so I'm sure they'd be interested in supporting it.

Dusty

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#13 2006-11-18 19:44:13

Warnaud
Member
From: /dev/random
Registered: 2006-03-02
Posts: 58
Website

Re: International Communities

Yes that would be cool to have all theses merged, or linked together. Archlinux sites, ML, wikis, newsletters, planets.

Regards


-=<>=-
Archlinux French site : http://www.archlinux.fr

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#14 2006-11-18 20:36:13

benoitc
Member
Registered: 2004-11-11
Posts: 62
Website

Re: International Communities

Dusty wrote:

I'm not personally on the Arch mailing list; I'm not a big fan of it. I would suggest that you either contact Judd directly or get on the arch mailing list to get an internationalization list. Like I said, there are a lot of devs interested in internationalization, so I'm sure they'd be interested in supporting it.

Dusty

Current arch mailing list isn't so active. So why create another mailing list that will slow down the number of exchanges in current  ? I'm not sure it's appropriate . We could already use current mailing list. Let see if traffic should be splitted in different mailing list ? For now it isn't needed imho.

- b

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#15 2010-04-15 09:52:56

jobinson99
Member
Registered: 2008-10-28
Posts: 5

Re: International Communities

i hate the Pointone/i18n standard :Title in English (Language)
it is not a userfriendly way for non-english users.

i think the better way is :Title in Language(Language)
or Title in Languge(Language name in English)


And please do not auto-move the page with good translation to the  Pointone/i18n way, it make a lot of loss of good title translation and user-friendly.

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#16 2010-04-15 12:37:07

Allan
Developer
From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 10,409
Website

Re: International Communities

You are better to start a new thread discussing this rather than revive (multiple) old threads.
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/For … Bumping.27

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