Softcatalà is a Catalan non-profit whose main
objective is to encourage the use of Catalan in digital environment (computer
software, the Internet and new technologies) and they focus on FLOSS
technologies. It has been operating for more than two decades. Thanks to Xarxanet.org (Xarxanet.org is an online portal
that serves as collaborative and volunteer network of Catalonia and operates in
Catalan language) we were able to learn more about the organisation and their
interview, Toni Hermoso, Joan Montané and some other colleagues explain the tools they use and how
they organize their community of volunteers.
social and volunteer capacity does Softcatalà have?
It is hard
to say. At Softcatalà everyone is a volunteer. The core group of the
association is represented by 25-30 people. Then, in the different translation
or development projects, other people also participate (we would like even more
people to join us) and they collaborate with different levels of involvement.
An exceptional example, around 5,000 people took part in the Common Voice project (Common Voice is a project of
Mozilla that is building a free database of speech recognition software).
projects are you currently working on?
check all the projects on our website. The main translation projects,
which we can consider more active, are: Mozilla Firefox, LibreOffice, VLC, GNOME, Gimp, Inkscape, WordPress and Telegram. Other language projects encompass spelling and grammar checker
(Hunspell and LanguageTool), translator (Apertium), thesaurus, syllable
separator, time converter, numbers in letters etc. We also generate resources
for translators: style guides, translation memories, ISO standards of languages,
territories and currencies.
projects that we are promoting are the creation of a free corpus of Common
Voice voice recordings and a free neural translation engine between English and
you organize yourself digitally?
We use private
mailing list for important things and announcements, but for day to day we use
Telegram groups. For the projects, we have been withdrawing from the mailing
lists. Currently we use quite a few Telegram groups. We have a group for the
general public, thematic groups for projects and two for private ones (SC stuff
and off-topics / tavern)
tools do you use for translations?
project has a web translation portal, we adapt to it and use it. It is usually
Transifex, Crowdin, Mozilla Pontoon, Pootle or Weblate. If the project does not
have a translation portal, we add it to our Transifex to translate it
members who prefer to work locally, with specific applications such as poEdit
or even text editors such as Vim. We also generate quality reports for all
translations, using LanguageTool and pology, which allow us to continuously
improve the quality of different projects.
work with GitHub? What do you use it for?
It is the place where we publish in an open and accessible way for everyone the associated code of practically all the projects that we maintain: proofreader, Softcatalà website, time converter, neural translator, translation memories, numbers in letters, Catalanitzador … The platform allows the collaboration of different people in the same code (both by Softcatalà regulars, and potentially also by third parties).
A few months ago we are also starting to work with an internal Gitlab instance (a platform similar to Github, but with an open source version that allows it to be installed on the same server), to manage the configuration of the different services, which we are progressively migrating to software containers powered by Docker.
Aside from development, is GitHub useful for a regular entity or organization?
features allow you to use it as a wiki space and as a public discussion forum.
We know at least one entity that does this: Liberapay. Thanks to its incident recording
functionality it is also possible to use it for project management, for example
through “kanban” type panels (as popularized by Trello).
was originally published on Xarxanet.org. Translation was provided by Esther
Subias from Colectic.