Tue, 22 Feb 2005

MaratOOó 2.0

During the past weekend, Softcatalà held a meeting with the unique goal of advancing on, or finishing if at all possible, the Catalan translation of OpenOffice.org 2.0. The meeting place was one of the research buildings in the Campus de Burjassot of the Universitat de València, and took place during two full days at one one the computer labs.

Despite there are a lot more potential translators in Catalunya, it was decided to favour a location like Burjassot, just 5 kilometres away from València to see if the event could get us a few more contributors and translators in an area where the Catalan language, here known as valencià, is not going through its best moment due to a number of reasons. We knew we would have support from Valencian users of the area for hosting the MaratOOó here, but would we have an acceptable turnout of people willing to help during the weekend?

We were delighted to find out that a good group of people showed up early on Saturday morning, which as soon as we got started was mostly used by Marc and me with two introductions about what Softcatalà is about, the conventions we use to translate software and an explanation of how to deal with gettext PO files. After this, people installed either KBabel or PoEdit and started translating more and more OpenOffice 2.0 modules.

Marc, Mireia, Jesús, Francesc came from Barcelona, being the main "foreign" group present. Two pleasant surprises were to meet Jordi and Ana from Tortosa, and some other people, like David or Laia, from towns near València, making a total of 18 translators during the day. Some of them were professional translators, or people studying it at University, and the resulting translations were very good.

After the day ended, I excused myself for not going to have dinner with the people from Catalunya as I hadn't had much sleep the day before, and I wanted to be around Benimaclet that night for the carnestoltes party, so I went ahead and had a 4h nap from 9PM to 1AM and then went out until 4:30AM. That's an excellent way of totally skewing your internal clock...

On Sunday, I arrived inevitably late after sleeping too little again and after casting my vote in the referendum about the European Constitution (but this issue deserves a blog issue for its own). There was less people, as expected, but not having to do any introduction or anything, it felt like it was a bit more productive than Saturday. Ivan Vilata, the guy who got me started doing translations, showed up in the middle of the morning, making a good addition to the team. At 5:30PM we were tired enough to officially end the MaratOOó, and the Barcelona crowd left for their 3h trip back home.

In general, we're very satisfied with the outcome. We haven't finished translating the beast, but it's probably more important that some new people have been introduced to Softcatalà and into translating software, and hopefully some will stay around and will keep volunteering their time to help us. We're grateful for everyone who gave their entire weekend for something that at times can have little or no reward like doing translations for free. I'm specially thankful towards sto, who handled our contact with the University to get the computer lab over the weekend, even if he's not into the l10n world at all, taking over tasks that I should have probably done but couldn't because I've been way too busy and half sick over the last week or two. I'm also very happy about Jesús making it to València even if he went through a serious personal problem just two days before the event. Thanks to both of you!

Softcatalà will probably make an official statement on how the two days went on the main webpage. We're also going to get a 3 page article in the El Temps magazine, besides the coverage we got over the weekend in some online Catalan news sites.

Yay! Great initiative, you're the best!
But don't wipe out the cool official name it had: MaratOO'o ;-)

Posted by Josep at Wed Feb 23 00:11:11 2005

Putos catalufos, you steal our language, deny the water we need so much and even change the names of our glorious translation events. GAAAH!

Posted by Jordi at Wed Feb 23 00:42:58 2005