Online sprints, or how to revive a L10N team

The Italian L10N team has not been very active nor growing in recent years. In particular, we pretty much failed at attracting new members in our team, with the result that untranslated files are piling up and manpower is scarce.

Following a suggestion of our uber-active Francesca,  we decided to try a new move to invert the trend: organizing brief weekly online sprints open to everybody, where graybeard translators will help newcomers getting to grips on Debian L10N infrastructure while collaboratively working on yet-untranslated targets.

Last week, we tried our first and very introductory sprint, with a preliminary meeting on IRC to give instructions and setup ad-hoc pads. As a result, we ended with linux-2.6 po-debconf and a web-page completely translated and proofread by almost fifteen people in just a couple a hours. The key point however is that the majority of participants were fresh L10N-newbies, which we hope will join us permanently very soon after this first contact.

Encouraged by the initial positive result, we already announced our next sprint for Thursday 11th, which will be focused on package descriptions translation (preceded by a crash course on DDTSS, its related web interface).

We hope that even more users will join us this time, and encourage other “stalled” translation teams in experimenting a similar approach to revive activity and encourage participation.

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