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Blitz-L-2007-10-6b | ... in the spirit of service


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-----Original Message-----
From: blitz-l-bounces@xxxxxx On Behalf Of Don Osborn
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 5:49 PM
To: panafril10n@xxxxxx; blitz-l@xxxxxx
Subject: [Blitz-l] Suggestion re consolidating email lists

I would like to propose a reorganization of the lists we use for communicating about localization in Africa. Several issues with the recent and important exchanges about Adel's asking Dwayne to help with organizing project proposals are part of the reason:
* Some mail went to PanAfriL10n (Google group), and some to Blitz-l (the group set up for the Marrakech workshop), and some to individual addresses. There was in the process duplicatiton, in one case delay, and probably some people who are not on PanAfriL10n who missed out entirely.
* The communication is happening only in English, leaving those more comfortable working in French out of the loop. (I received one complaint.)

Meanwhile the PAL lists have the same membership, largely, plus some others who are part of the localization constituency. These lists are also linked by automatic translation which, while far from perfect, still permits communication across working languages of English, French and Portuguese. I have begun sending repackaged versions of the main correspondence on this topic out on PAL-en (which is translated to Fr & Pt).

Specifically I would like to propose, as a way of streamlining communication and assuring communication in all working languagess, the following:
1) Close Blitz-l, which was originally set up for the Marrakech workshop, and keep the archives open. Make sure that all members have been invited to one or another PAL list (I think they have, but have to double-check)
2) Close PanAfriL10n (Googlegroup) which was originally set up as a closed group for the Working Group set up in Marrakech, but has since been opened and now largely duplicates the PAL lists in purpose. Keep the archives of that open also.

Further, concerning lists set up under Bisharat:
3) Close A12n-entraide, which was originally set up as a French language list for localization, but has not been heavily used. All members will be invited to join either/both PAL-fr or Unicode-Afrique (see below, #5)
4) Consolidate A12n-collaboration and A12n-Forum into one list. This is a more difficult issue as both have significant subscriberships and different uses/histories. The result should be an English working language list for more advanced technical discussions (A12n-collab, for instance, has covered a lot of ground concerning fonts, keyboards and such).
5) Leave Unicode-Afrique as is - this list has about 170 subscribers and still hits important topics in French.
6) The several QuickTopic message boards on specific languages or countries would be maintained as topic-specific locations for posting information. (Similar to the 2 Congos Googlegroup in that they appeal to smaller specialized needs)

So, basically I'm proposing that communication concerning IDRC's localization projects be pursued on the PAL lists, which were in fact created for this purpose and already have significant subscriberships based on activities since 2005. Additionnally, one A12n list and Unicode-Afrique would serve wider communities related to our work, and using exclusively English or French working languages.

A word needs to be added about the automatic translation feature. MT is far from perfect, we know. Several changes will help this however. One is moving to another version of Gnu Mailman or another software that facilitates editing by the moderator - a few minor touches to some messages by the moderator before they go into MT can make a lot of difference in the quality of the translations. Another is a new MT software, which we are talking about with FUNREDES. Basically, MT in the PAL lists is as necessary as simultaneous translation was in Casablanca and Marrakech.

Sorry to add to the barrage of emails, but I think as we move into a new phase of collaboration wrt localization in Africa, consolidation of the email lists we use is necessary, and so is a means of assuring that information is instantly made available to all our colleagues in their preferred working languages.

Thanks in advance and best to all.


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