L10n Wiki Process for Documentation

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Information on Documentation for OpenOffice.org 3.0

OpenOffice.org docs to be localized for the next major release are:

- Basic Programming Guide
The challenge with the localization of the Basic Programming Guide is that the content is currently published on the AOo wiki and will be also finalized there. For your reference here the link: https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/BASIC_Guide.

- Administration Guide (to be confirmed)

- Developer's Guide (only in English)

Localization Process for Wiki Documentation

General Comment to the Wiki Editing Process

Currently, the process of editing the documentation for OOo on the OOo Wiki is fairly informal. The wiki offers no access control, or review workflow. The "books" are basically collections of wiki pages that are bundled through a table of contents.

The production and localization/production process will involve the creation of PDF files from wiki snapshots at a certain point in time. The wiki content will not be frozen and will always be the work in progress.

The workflow for this is planned being:

  1. Export snapshot of wiki (Format TBD, probably ODF)
  2. Review the snapshot for stylistic, linguistic, and technical accuracy
  3. Layout the snapshot for correct branding, and produce PDF
  4. Handover the snapshot to G11N (ODF), provide PDF as reference
  5. Receive ODF and PDF from G11N for publication
    • in case of OOo branded content, the receiver of the localized ODF/PDF probably are the respective NLC owners
    • in case of SO branded content, the receiver of the localized content is TBD (product team, IPG, release team?)

If and how changes from step 2 will be fed back into the wiki is as yet unknown.

Task Description Notes
Authoring English doc with MediaWiki No new guide has been authored yet.  
Updating English doc Contributors go into the wiki and make changes  
Community contribution to English doc No difference to the above  
Review of contributions None  
Finalizing English docs Undefined, wiki snapshot  
Handoff approach/process to l10n Undefined, wiki snapshot at a defined point in time  
Possible file formats to deliver to l10n ODF, HTML  
Translation methods (depending ex. on file format)    
L10n handover approach/process to IPG undefined  
L10n handover approach/process to product team    
Posting l10n documentation on wiki    
Archiving l10n documentation    


  • Do the vendors see a possibility of translating directly using the wiki?

TPM: We should be able to track the changes in wiki, identify which part is updated by the community and review it, if needed. We can ask the vendor to update their translation memory according to the change. Though, it should be big burden for the checker and the vendor depending on the updated contents/volume by them.

Vendor: Technically yes. Though, we cannot use the translation memory then. We will have to:

1. Take the snap shot of the source contents
2. Translate the snap shot by using the translation tool
3. Back convert the translated contents

PM: We need to investigate how translation tools supporting mediawiki work for document translation. See OmegaT.

  • Does the vendor prefer getting the wiki content exported into a odf file document?

Vendor: We can use a odf as the snap shot described above.
Vendor: If we have a document in odf file format, we can handle translation without problem.

  • How do we track the differences between the previous version of the Basic programming guide and the Basic programming guide?

Vendor: We may use several ways to get the changes. one is whether the writer himself/herself has the change tracking info. second is to use previous TM to analyze the new file. third is to compare the pdf between two versions if pdf is available.

  • How do we leverage what they have translated and still make sure that the translation matches the English text?
  • Should the localized Guide match the English source?

If there is an English source, the principle should be the one of a simple translation. But documentation across NLC is available in languages other than English and should not be ignored.

  • Do we want to fork l10n guides and English guides going forward?

While this is a likely outcome (ToDo: check the licenses of these guides), OOoAuthors guide may not be our only resources. We should perhaps investigate what end user material is available and also realize that these material may not be translated in English (they exist in other language). In any case we have to define a fix set of end user guide that will be localized broadly

Interim Solution

A graphic of the process we will be following can be found at OOo_Wiki_process

Note that for l10n we ill be working on a ODF snapshot of the English wiki. Changes to the English wiki document during l10n are inevitable but can be tracked with the history. Once the l10n document will be put back to wiki additional comments will be added to make sure the l10n version can be tracked to the corresponding English source wiki document.


  • MediaWiki to ODF export filter is still on progress.

As of April 21st: no progress beyond a rough proof of concept - ie it works, but with errors. "MediaWiki to ODT" is available in the OOoWiki under Special Pages > Wiki2XML: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Special:Wiki2XML
You can give this extension a list of Wiki pages to convert to ODT but the resulting ODT contains a zip error and cannot be opened by OOo. To work around this the ODT must be saved locally. Then you must unzip, and then re-zip the ODT. The file can then be opened by OOo.
Other output formats such as PDF, XML etc do not yet work (some more back-end software must be installed).
This extension can be fixed so that it works correctly. Needs time for debugging.

Update 8 July 2008: The PDF export is now working, and ODF export is in a working Alpha stage. PDF export produces a very nicely formatted document. ODF export produces a document that is usable, but not in a final presentation state. There are still some export errors that are being worked on. The problems outlined above with the broken zip file etc are no longer applicable.

  • Still need to evaluate translation tools supporting MediaWiki (ex. OmegaT)
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