We’ve just shipped the ability to add comments in Pontoon. One of the top requested features enables reviewers to give feedback on proposed suggestions, as well as facilitates general discussions about a specific string.
The feature consists of two pieces. Let’s have a closer look at them.
Until now, the review process has been strictly binary, with “Approve” and “Reject” being the only actions available, which made it hard for translation authors to learn from reviewers. With comments now available, reviewers are encouraged to pass knowledge onto translation authors by providing clarifications and advice.
Each translation in the History panel now includes the “Comment” button located in front of the review buttons, which allows you to comment on that particular translation. Reviewers can use it to explain why the translation got approved, rejected or replaced, as well as provide advice to the author.
In addition to reviewers, translation authors and other users can also submit translation comments, for example to ask for advice or to justify their suggestion.
2. Original string comments
But what if you want to discuss how to translate a string before any suggestions are even made? For that purpose we’ve introduced the “Comments” tab in the 3rd column, next to the Machinery and Locales tabs. There you can add comments bound to the original string in general, not one of its translations.
Note that these comments are only visible on the translate page of the locale they were submitted in. We are however already working on the ability for the Project Managers to “Pin” comments, which will make them visible globally across all locales. That feature will also include the ability for localizers to request more context or report an issue in the source string. Stay tuned!
Discoverability of comments
Since we don’t show comments on dashboards, they aren’t really discoverable. That’s why we’ll send notifications to all relevant users once the comment is submitted, e.g. to everyone in the comment thread and translation authors and reviewers. Original string comment notifications will also be sent to team managers and translators.
This feature has been developed as part of the Outreachy internship by our amazing intern April Bowler. We’re very happy that even after the internship she continues to work on the followup features mentioned above, namely the ability to “Pin” comments and the ability to request context & report issue. User mentions are also coming as part of that.
I’d like to thank April for the great work she has done implementing this feature. I’d also like to thank many of our Mozilla L10n community members, who have been actively involved in the designing process.