This has been the second year I went to FOSDEM. Is a great conference to learn, get together with friends that are spread across the world and enjoy Open Source.
Being there and seeing the awesome things people were doing made me think about my last contributions to the community and how shy they are. A lot of times I’ve rejected contributing to a project or publishing a project or a library I’m working on due its early stage or the idea of the code or the approach “not being good enough”.
My conclusion was this reasoning was bad due the iterative nature of the software. I’ve been more worried about releasing a complete project than releasing something useful and give others the oportunity to improve or modify it, that is the very nature of the Open Source Software.
With this thought in mind, I decided to collaborate in an Open Source project as soon as possible to prove myself wrong. It didn’t need to be coding, it could be a simple task, but I wanted to prove that the entry barrier to collaborate is easy to jump over and anyone with an hour of free time can contribute.
Then I saw a tweet by the Gogs team that inspired me to translate the application to the spanish language. How difficult could it be?
Gogs defines itself as a self-hosted git service written in Go. I’ve been using it in my own personal server for more than a year now and it’s truly an awesome application.
They use crowdin to manage the translations of the project, so I created my account and started translating. The interface is pretty simple, showing you a string that needs to be translated, some automatic suggestions and an interface to comment or request context on each string.
At the other end of the line, the Gogs team member that I know as @joe2010xtmf has been precise and quick responding to any doubt that could raise during the process. He has been my contact with the team and its good to remember that is not only the collaborator’s effort, but the team’s one of reviewing, integrating and helping with the process.
I’ve spent more or less five hours on the whole translation, two back there in Brussels and the rest here in Spain, one of those this exact morning. My point is that translating a project to another language is simple if you are fluent and is not time consuming, but helps the project to spread and is very rewarding.
With this small effort I proved myself that is easy to contribute to the Open Source world, anyone can do it spending just a few hours with little knowledge and is very sastisfying.
This is not my field, I’m not a translator but a coder, so my next contributions have been and will be in that area. Translating Gogs has been my first step recovering the habit of contribute, and I could not be more proud.
The Gogs spanish translation is waiting for final approval and can be played with in the
Gogs live demo instance and in the
Update (4 march 2015)
The spanish translation is now approved!