1.3 Major Advantages of GNUN
Here is a simple list of situations where we hope this suite would
prove to be useful.
- Automatic rebuild of all translations when the original article
changes. This is the most important feature, as it prevents
accumulation of seriously outdated translations.
- Global update of the whole site. Apply the previous point to the web
server templates (under server/ in the ‘www’ repository). A
single change to such a file will affect literally all
articles, translated or not.
- Urgent notices. Sometimes an “urgent” notice is added by the
webmasters, which should appear on all pages. Typically this is about
an event where urgent action is needed, although often it is only
relevant to a single country or even a particular city. Such a notice
will propagate to all pages, and translators may choose whether to
translate it or not. For example, the Urdu translation team may
conclude that there are only a few Urdu speakers in Massachusetts, to
participate in an event that will happen in Boston, so translating the
“urgent” notice may not be very “urgent” for Urdu. However, such
notice will appear in all translated pages and people who usually read
gnu.org pages in their native language will see it, so they can take
action as necessary. When the notice is removed, often in a week or
two, it will disappear without translators’ intervention, whether they
translated it or not.
- HTML validation. As a preliminary step, GNUN validates the English
pages before updating the POT files, and the regenerated translations
before committing them. It often detects typos and other errors in
- Simplification of the translation process—lots of errors and typos
come from the fact that translators basically have to duplicate the
whole HTML markup of the original. The PO files eliminate most of the
basic markup, which is where most of the validation errors come from.
- Markup consistency site-wide—it would be substantially easier to
update the site to a future standard, because translations will
naturally follow the changes in the original articles. This also means
that translation teams do not have to undergo the boring process of
converting their articles to the new SSI-based layout; this will be done
- Easy updates by translators. Modified paragraphs, links, etc. will
appear as “fuzzy” strings in the PO files, newly added ones will
appear as “untranslated”, and deleted will appear as “obsolete”.
It is substantially easier to update a PO file, where a keystroke
takes you to the part that needs updating, whatever it may be.
- Reporting and statistics. Since the basis is standard PO files, which
are the canonical source of the translations, it is easy to manipulate
them and extract useful information.