L10n Style Guides on GitHub

When we began talking about style guides with localization communities at l10n hackathons, we suggested that the Mozilla Wiki was a good place to temporarily store them, until we could define a more centralized and accessible place for them, and that that place would most likely be GitHub. After a lot of research, we’ve created GitHub repository to host all of the Mozilla translation style guides, including community-specific ones. Any style guide that is referenced on a team’s contact page has been copied as a markdown file into this repository. The repository has been built with Gitbooks and the style guides can be accessed with greater readability and improved search capabilities.

You may be wondering, “If the community style guides are already available and linked on team contact pages, why do we need this GitHub repository?” We understand this confusion and wish to address why the repository exists. 

Recently, MDN underwent a major style and content change. This meant that the General Localization Style Guide that was available on MDN needed to be assessed to determine what changes needed to be made or if MDN was even a good home for it. After considering alternatives and associated questions, such as “what about community-specific style guides”, we decided that we need to build a place easy to find for all style guides. Having this central repository for all style guides makes it easier to locate all of the style guides that have been created by each community. We don’t want the hard work to go to waste, that’s why we want to make these style guides accessible and link to them from the team’s page in Pontoon. This centralized repository helps us make sure we don’t miss any style guides.

Currently, community style guides are hosted on a variety of sources and in a mix of formats. While this is not a problem in itself, these varied formats and sources can make it difficult to locate the style guides. Additionally, some of these sources stop hosting the style guide or the style guide may become obsolete for whatever reason. This is not exclusive to style guides hosted to non-Mozilla sources. The wiki at mozilla.org doesn’t represent a good home for this data, for that reason we have moved the General Localization Style Guide as well. Rather than lose the style guides currently hosted on the Mozilla Wiki, we decided to make copies of these style guides in the centralized GitHub Repository.

These considerations aren’t newas you probably know from the past year’s workshopsbut they present an opportunity for us to make this change that will facilitate quality assurance and accessibility for our translation efforts.

This brings up a few tasks for language communities that have a style guide or would like to add one to the repository:

  1. Please check that your current community style guide is in the repository and that it is correct. It is possible that the style guide that was migrated to the repository is the wrong version or contains some errors from migration. If there are any errors in the style guide, please see number 2.
  2. If you need to update/correct or add a style guide to the repository, please update it in the GitHub repository. GitHub has instructions on how to update a repository. Please follow these instructions to create a pull request. This pull request will be reviewed before being merged to the official style guides repository to try to maintain quality. In addition, each pull request should be reviewed by another member of the community as some of the repository administrators may not speak the language of the style guide. 

If there are any questions regarding the new repository or community style guides, please direct them to Kekoa kriggin@mozilla.com or flod at flodolo@mozilla.com.

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