i18n Sprint Paris ''towards i18n.debian.org'' Report

From June 15th until June 17th, IRILL hosted the Debian i18n Sprint. These are the minutes, results and notes from our work, it is a brief description but hopefully complete of what we have done and what is still missing/pending.

We would like to thank IRILL for hosting us. In addition, our thanks to the many donors whose contributions have permitted the project to subsidize transportation and lodging.





We also had appearances of our hosts, namely Stefano Zacchiroli and Sylvestre Ledru, as well as a short visit by Julien Cristau.

Our previous scenario

Since 2006, Debian i18n uses churro, a machine hosted in Spain by Junta de Extremadura. This machine runs our core services: i18n.debian.net and ddtp.debian.net, which were expanded and improved over the last few years and are used spread Debian community.

In late 2011 and early 2012, churro started giving signals of its age and we had some failures, which led us to this Sprint, which the main goal was migrating i18n infrastructure and services to official Debian infrastructure, administered by DSA (Debian System Administrators), while at the same time, taking the opportunity to improve and document our tools and processes.


We took several key decisions before starting the implementation work:

Machines setup

Thanks to DSA Team we now have two virtual machines:

Having Martin Zobel-Helas attending the meeting allowed the team to better learn about processes related to DSA-managed machines (account creations, including accounts for non-DD users, packages installation, general system administration of DSA machines) and thus better understand the impact on our processes.

Proper email (ingoing and outgoing, with antispam measures) is working on tye and dukas, that will allow us to keep supporting the most used and widely preferred interface of Debian community: the email.

A full source mirror in NFS-mounted and can be used by local utilities (such as those gathering the material). We want to reduce the effort of looking into all source packages (more about this on Future Plans).

Team members have SSH access as well as the needed sudo authorizations.

We also started working to identify the needed packages by gen-material and spider in order to create virtual packages named "i18n.debian.org" and "ddtp.debian.org". These virtual packages are now in the debian.org tree of the repository and have been pulled in by DSA.

VCS for scripts and services

The existing SVN repository has been converted to git, with four trees at the moment:

The existing SVN is now declared obsolete, except for the packaging trees it contains (pootle, translate-toolkit, virtaal). It will be up to maintainers of these packages to move them in git if they want. The suggested name is "pkg-<package>.git".

We also took the chance and did a pending cleanup. The content of the old (unused debian-l10n.delete) CVS repository has been removed.

You can take a look at our new repositories:

debian-l10n Alioth project

Some cleaning was done on the project. It has two admins (Christian Perrier and Nicolas Fran├žois) and only active members have been kept as project members (plus people who maintain some packages under the debian-l10n umbrella).

Unused services (forums, trackers, etc.) have been shutdown.

Working services

Future plans

Once we finish polishing the services and scripts we will send an email to synchronize with website team and PTS team about the needed changes in URLs and to closely monitor the transition. That also aims to inform our users about such changes, so everybody can be aware if anything appears to be broken, not working or malfunctioning.

As this sprint has been incredibly useful when it comes at team building, we already planned two future gatherings of the i18n team:

We're also seriously considering a GSOC 2013 project. A few ideas have been mentioned:

It was an incredibily productive weekend and it was quite a while since Debian i18n team had a meeting and worked together. We still have many challenges in terms of internationalization and translation in Debian, so all help is more than welcome, please join us on IRC or mail lists to share ideas on how we can improve Debian.