Friday, March 21

Launchpad translations revisited

I am trying to add some order to the mess that is the Launchpad translation repository. Problem is, strings translated just once through Launchpad stick around forever, even if you change them in upstream later. In effect, a lot of translation bugfixes were not reaching Ubuntu users. I thought I had that covered. Unfortunately it's not the case.

I just noticed that in the Launchpad package list sorting by changed strings only sorts the first page! Initially I had noticed random package names and mistakenly thought that the whole package list was sorted. The whole list (~1500 packages, shown in 75 package chunks) is sorted by "importance", so it's basically random. Good luck finding modified packages in that haystack.

Seeking computer-literate monkeys.
Earn up to five bananas per hour!
Must be able to use mouse.

Unless... how about increasing the batch size? Turns out that in Launchpad the batch size is not capped, so by changing a URL parameter you can just set it to a high number, wait a few short moments, and get the complete list of packages. Sort that by changed strings and we're done, right?

We're done finding the local translations, but not fixing (reverting) them. The new, larger list reveals that there are more than a few of those with quite more than a few strings that should in 99% of the cases be reverted to packaged versions. Here's how that works:

Monkey operator instruction manual

  1. Click on 'Packaged' radio button for all 10 entries on page (no batch size modifications allowed here...)
  2. Click 'save'
  3. Repeat until the page says 'No more translations'
  4. Done. Not! When you click the 'Save button', the starting offset is changed for the next page. However, the translations you just marked are removed from the list at the same time. So, if you were looking at translations 1-10, after pressing 'Save & Continue' you will actually be looking at translations 21-30, not 11-20! To get to the 'lost' translations, you have to retrieve the list from the start again. So, load the initial page and go to step #1 to fix the remaining half of translations. Next time you reach this step, half of those will be left. Next time, half of half of those. Isn't that fun!

Where's that monkey ad again?

A brute force solution could be to write a script. That could save some bananas. Not that we could run out of them as this whole thing is pretty much bananas. That does not look like a clean solution though. Does anyone know if there there is a better way?


Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Jeroen Vermeulen (but I don't have an account here, so posting in cowardly anonymity). I work on the Launchpad Translations application.

As far as I know, the "Save & Continue" bug was fixed in January. This was bug 63557:

If you can confirm that the problem is still there, maybe in a different form than the one we fixed, please re-open that bug with details of how to reproduce it.

Gintautas Miliauskas said...

Hi, Jeroen,

I am sorry that I did not file a bug at once about this problem. I was a little irritated about the whole thing. I reopened the bug you mentioned and added some information about the problem.

Anonymous said...

(This is Jeroen again).

Gintautas: Thanks for taking the trouble. I see Curtis (who solved the original bug) has already responded.

It's only human to get irritated at this sort of thing. We're constantly working to make things better, but there's so much to do!

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