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Author Topic: Why is Coppermine so popular ? - (language issues etc.)  (Read 3493 times)

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John Hjorth

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Why is Coppermine so popular ? - (language issues etc.)
« on: December 09, 2005, 03:49:50 am »

Why is Coppermine so popular ?

Yes it's not just a statement - it's a fact - just go check the download page on SourceForge - I just did :

Total downloads of CPG 1.3.5 and CPG 1.4.2 : Approx. 80,000.
Total downloads of all CPG related files : Approx. 312,000.

Reasons

In my opinion there are several reasons for that success :

  • Open source project - free software
  • Software is relevant - there is a demand for the software
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to run
  • Server requirements met by almost every host
  • Lots of features in the software
  • Good support site
  • Lots of themes
  • Lots of languages available

I guess a lot more reasons could be mentioned.

Lots of languages available (elaboration)

1. If You You take a closer look at every bullet point above and ask Your self : "Who is to give credit for this ?", most of the credit goes for the dev. team, not only for developing and maintaining this piece of software, but also for getting the development structure of the project right - I will get back to that below.

2. Also the users will get credit for participating in and contributing to the community.

3. And the large numbers of willingly translators will get credit.

And to me, actually the combination of the structure of project and the large number of contributers on translations is a major element in CPG´s success.

The development process with a CVS with a official feature freeze, final "tune up" and "fixation" of the English.php file and a "GO" for translations at the same time is to me the exactly one and only right way to do it in a structured way.

Of cause this way to do things gives some kind of "lag" in the translations, because all translators are working without deadlines in the open source project.

There is no other way to do it without setting deadlines for the contributers.

The spread of this software is of course based on the use of the software thereby "promoting" it for other potential users. The language issue gets important, because You have to master English to some extend to take care of Yourself in here, but I think lots of potential users (admins) would not choose Coppermine, if it wasn't accessible in the admins native language - there would be a problem for some or many users, because the software is interactive not only on admin level, but also - depending on setup - on user level.

To me, that's perhaps the most heavy reason for Coppermine's success.

Have You ever wondered how big a part of the worlds population that is "covered" by an English translation of the software ? - and which translations are the most important for the project in that respect ? - I guess most of us are paddling in our own duck-pond in the daily living and perhaps not always getting the right scope and perspective of things - look out this page to get the real picture - it calls for some thoughts :

http://www.geohive.com/global/gen_popsize.php

I know it´s not updated, and some people i Belgium speak French, and there is no common Indian language, and people in Brazil speak a certain kind of Portuguese and so on - but it really gives You some kind of the overall picture language wise of the world.

Please note that English is covering "only" the "upper left corner" (CA,US,GB) of the map - the reason for that is in the history.

I guess that Coppermine is one of the worlds best open source projects in respect to language coverage, which is a direct implication of an active, contributing community based on a large number of members spread all over the world ... 8)

- - - o 0 o - - -

- Just some thoughts in the midlle of the danish translation for CPG 1.4.2 - now I'll shut up and continue the work to "fill in" that tiny danish bit of that map ... ;D
« Last Edit: December 09, 2005, 04:19:44 am by John Hjorth »
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Joachim Müller

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Re: Why is Coppermine so popular ? - (language issues etc.)
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2005, 09:13:24 am »

thanks for this review. I fully agree to your thoughts on language.
However, I wanted to add a remark on an indian translation. Our lead developer Dr. Tarique Sani and some of our best and most active developers are from India - I asked them for an Indian translation a while ago, but they refused and told me that it wouldn't be needed, basically because
  • there's no such thing as an "Indian" language, but a whole range of different languages spoken in India
  • most Indian websites are in English - Indian internet users excpect a website to be in English
  • mostly, educated people own a PC or have internet access - they all speak English (and all people from India I have ever met speak English extremely well)
This does of course not mean that a translation into Hindi or another language spoken in India wouldn't be welcome, but there's just little point in it.
A similar thing applies to many other countries like China and Russia: coppermine (as well as many other open-source apps) supports the "official" language spoken in those countries and not some regional dialects, just because the users from those countries can't see the need to do the translations for those many other languages spoken there.
Of course there are exceptions to those rules: there are coppermine translations in Basque, Catalan, Welsh etc. although the inhabitants of those regions usually speak one of the "big" languages like Spanish or English as well.
We (the coppermine devs) believe in internationalization (abbreviated as i18n), that's why we welcome all language contributions, be they for languages that are spoken by a large group of people of a small one. We'd even like to see gimmick or made-up languages like Klingon, Esperanto or pig-latin.

So, as a summary, let me put it this way: if you would like to support open-source development, or if you want to give something back for being provided with coppermine for free, or if you're just missing your language: go ahead and contribute a translation to coppermine - we're looking forward to it.

Related links:Joachim

P.S. Please don't post actual language contributions or questions related to translating coppermine as a reply to this thread - use the ones I refered to above. This one is meant for general comments and suggestions like the original posting by John.
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