Strings for WordPress 3.7
Hello, all. I want to explain what was going on with 3.7. After we rearranged our code repositories for WordPress core, our tools that generate and import strings needed to be adjusted. At the time I also knew that a 3.6.1 security release was being prepared, so we moved the “Development” project to “3.6.x” to make sure all 3.6 and 3.6.1 releases went smoothly.
GlotPress is not yet good at “branching,” so after I move “3.6.x” back to “Development” and create an empty “3.6.x”, I have a script that handles exporting and importing all translations. Once that happens, I can then update the original strings in the “Development” branch to reflect 3.7. If I were to just create an empty “3.6.x” and let you do the export from “Development” and import into “3.6.x”, your exports will be incomplete because the originals changed, and that’s no fun, and it makes it much harder for you to release security releases.
(Note: This isn’t a complaint about GlotPress. I’ve had conversations with @markoheijnen about how a few adjustments can make GlotPress better for us, and I’m excited.)
I cited 3.7 repository changes as the catalyst, but we’ve actually done this shuffling previously. No one noticed until now because this release cycle is so short. But, I’ll argue that this “shuffle” is actually a good thing. Otherwise, what happens is a few strings change per week during early “alpha” development, and translators jump all over those. But in reality, those strings are still in flux, which means you’re just doing extra work because GlotPress presented you with a string that we might change in a few days. That’s no fun for anyone, and it makes me feel really bad, because your time is valuable. Waiting a few weeks before we start to populate strings into “Development” is actually ideal.
Okay, what about string freeze?
You may have also noticed that 3.7 was a very “low-level” release. It primarily focused on bug fixes, code improvements, and updates. There were no major user-facing features or UI changes, which also meant there were very few strings. there are only around 76 strings new in 3.7. I imported the new strings less than two hours ago, and then I went through each of them to confirm there were no typos or changes to make. The crazy thing is in two hours, two translators are already almost done! (Props @damst and @SteveAgl.) That just goes to show how easy and quick it will be to update your translations for WordPress 3.7.
It also showed how quickly new strings are translated. As I said, I want to make sure you feel your time is valued. So: let’s consider this point to be a “string freeze” with a qualifier. The 76 strings have been double-checked and are ready to go, and you should start translating them today. The qualifier: There will be some new strings that get added over the next week. First, we’re still polishing a few things. Second, there is also the about page, which I promise you’ll have a week to translate. We’re planning to launch 3.7 the week of October 14, so expect to hear more next week.
What about language packs?
The general concept of “language packs” are new in 3.7. But, a lot of the processes for how WordPress.org will be handling those is still not settled (more to come here). However, If you’re looking for something to do, may I suggest you make sure your translations for the WordPress importer plugins are up to date? Upon 3.7’s launch, any 100% translations for these plugins will be delivered to WordPress sites during updates. The same goes for bbPress, BuddyPress, and default themes, too.
While after reading this you may come to your own conclusion, I promise there was no conspiracy, negligence, or incompetence to keep you all from translating 3.7.
Finally: If you’re at WordCamp Europe this weekend, please come find me to chat! I want to hear your thoughts and ideas.