Translation FAQ


  • How to track the progress of a translation project?
  • User alerts for translation tasks
  • Working with "jobs" instead of individual files
  • I've noticed that a freelancer becomes member of the "main project" if I add him or her to a sub-project. Can we avoid this?
  • When should I use subprojects?
  • I want to add a new yes/no field to my projects


How to track the progress of a translation project?

> How does one set the delivery date for subcontactors?
> How to track people's progress, like Gantt's chart in Microsoft Project?

Translation progress is tracked using the "Project Status" display on the main project page. (The project needs to have a "Translation" type such as "Trans+Edit+Proof" in order for the "Project Status" to appear - it only makes sense with translation projects...)

Please see the PO-Trans-WorkflowGuide for details.

User alerts for translation tasks

> How are users alerted to tasks?
> Are they sent mails when a new file (task item) appears?

No, we once tried a system like this, but users started to complain about too many emails. So we decided to alert a user (freelancers, employees, ...) only once when assigning them to a project.

We have found that translators keep up with the project news once they are assigned. Translation Projects normally tend not to be very long.

> Is there a central todo tasks list on home site for each member? I could not see any

There is no central list of translation tasks, no. The lists are visible only in their projects. However, each translator will see his list of _projects_ on his home page.

Working with "jobs" instead of individual files

By Neil Gauld from Brightlines (slightly edited):

> We are having a problem with PO.
> Here is what we need to do and then what PO forces us to do:
> 1. Send text and usually a PDF of original doc to the translator.
> 2. The translator translates.
> 3. Send translated text, original source text and pdf to the editor.
> 4. The editor edits the text
> 5. The editor returns the Final translation, word doc to us.
> Here is what we have to do with PO:
> 1. "Zip" source text and pdf together so we can upload it as one task.
> 2. The translator downloads and unzips and translates.
> 3. The translator has to "Zip" translated text, pdf and source text for upload.
> 4. The editor downloads the zipped file and edits text.
> 5. The editor uploads the edited text - but also has to make sure that it is zipped
>     as the task is named as a zip.
> If the Editor just uploaded a word doc then PO would change the name to the
> original task name, which was a zip file. So when we download the file we actually
> get a word doc masquerading as a zip file. Zip icon and zip suffix.
> Any ideas? How do other people get around this problem?
> It would be nice to have a bit more flexibility in this area.

I see what you mean. Let's rephrase it: You would basicly want to work based on "jobs" instead of "individual documents". Is that right?

We have seen many customers, particularly from Localization facing this issue. In L10n you frequently get a long list of very small files, sometime just containing a single word or phrase. In this case there are very few alternative to working base on "jobs", because it would be impossible for translators and edtiros to download/upload each file individually.

  • So option 1 is what you are currently doing: You zip your job files together and then operate the workflow on the .zip file. Maybe you write a "Note" in the project's Discussion Forum with the instructions to zip and unzip the file.
  • Option 2 is to separate "context" or "supplementory" information from the "translation" files. Then you store the context supplementory information in the Project's FileStorage. Some customers create a separate folder for each project called "context_information" or similar. Finally, you write a "Note" in the Discussions Forum telling the freelancers to look into the FileStorage.

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for this question...

I've noticed that a freelancer becomes member of the "main project" if I add him or her to a sub-project. Can we avoid this?

The short answer is no, you can't. The main Project ListPage ("Projects") for freelancers only shows the freelancer's main projects. So we need to make the freelancer member of the main project.

In order to avoid this situation you could setup another sub-project to contain any critcal information that a freelancer shouldn't see.

The main project is frequently the location where discussions and knowledge management should happen, as opposed to the sub-projects. That's because users are much more likely to enter into a main project than into a sub-project, and participation is usually the biggest issue if you want to use forums for KM.

When should I use Subprojects?

This questions belongs to the more general question about how you want to map your particular data and processes to the ]po[ application. We'd recommend that you define a few rules for your company on how to use ]po[.

Here are some ideas about subprojects:

Subprojects add a level of complexity for both administrators (to setup sub-projects) and for users
(to find the location of information). So you should setup sub-projects only if really necessary. In general we recommend that you use the forum and filestorage only of the main project. Otherwise your users might not see that there is information "hidden" in one of the subprojects.

In translation organizations:

We recommend the use of sub-projects if you've got translation projects with more then 20 tasks. This could either be because of the sheer number of documents to translate (such as in the case of a website localization) or because you have to translate a number of files into many languages.

There is a button in the "Translation Details" section to "Create Language Subprojects" which automatically creates a new subproject per language for you. Also, the function copies the "source_xx" files into the subprojects.

In other service organizations (consulting, ITSM, ...):

Sub-projects are automatically generated as part of the project hierarchy when using the GanntProject integration. However, we recommend that you try to reduce the number of tasks and subprojects as much as possible in order to avoid administrative overhead. We usually recommend that a "task" should correspond to 1 day to 5 days of work, and a sub-project to atleast to week of work.

I want to add a new yes/no field to my projects

]project-open[ has a built-in "DynField" architecture that allows you to add fields to Projects, Users and Companies (we'll extend this list in the future). DynFields modifies your data model, so it should only be used by experience SQL developers. Please search for "project-open dynfield" in Google for more information. However, it is probably best to post a message in SourceFourge Discussions or to contact us with your particular requirements.

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