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Revision 6 as of 2010-02-22 16:31:42

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Launchpad Translations API

This Launchpad enhancement proposal discusses extending the functionality of Launchpad Translations by developing an API which will expose the necessary interfaces to allow read and write access to translations-related data from Launchpad through launchpadlib.

On Launchpad:

As the Ubuntu Translations Coordinator
I'd like to propose the development of a Translations API
so that the Ubuntu Translations community and other customers can benefit from accessing the Launchpad Translations data in alternative ways. These will help them assessing the status of translations at the distro level, track progress and set translation goals which will improve the translation coverage of Ubuntu. In addition to that, other functionality provided by the API can assist the Ubuntu translations coordinators in managing the Ubuntu Translations import queue and automate the currently manual processes


Due to other higher priority development work, the Translations component has been lacking a full API for quite some time now.

The main benefit accessing data through launchpadlib can provide to Ubuntu is on the statistics reporting side: currently the main access point to translating Ubuntu is at This view offers statistics to all translatable packages in the main and restricted repositories, regardless of distribution. While complete, it does not provide information on how well translated Ubuntu is as a distribution. This information can be very useful to Ubuntu translators in assessing what needs to be translated and on which packages they should concentrate their work. This can also be used to track progress, set up goals, and in short, as an aid to building community around translations. In the same way, this can be useful for commercial customers to assess translation coverage when evaluating to ship Ubuntu in a given language.

As the current focus of Launchpad development is on upstream integration, and as there is no planned UI work in that area, an API appears to be the most adequate way to allow accessing the Launchpad Translations data and present it in alternative ways to suit the stakeholders' needs.

This is only one of the uses the API would enable (reporting), but there are other functionalities (import queue management, translation) which would not only greatly reducing the amount of work in managing Ubuntu translations, but also open up the Translations component to many interesting uses.



The new behaviour must provide a way to access translations data from Launchpad, either in read (or depending on the value) or write mode through launchpadlib, without the need for an admin to query the database.

It must not provide a way to circumvent any security privileges built in the layers above (e.g. Launchpad UI)


The API can be initially subdivided in several areas, which will be exposed separately below.


This part of the API focuses on exposing read-only data for the purpose of reporting on the status of translations. Each subsection treats a separate aspect of reporting, with DATA lists as the proposals for the data to be exposed.


Retrieving the list of all languages available in Launchpad. For each language the following data would be required:


It would be also desirable to have the ability of querying a single language as well.

PO Templates

Retrieving the list of all templates available for a series in Launchpad. For each template the following data would be required:


It would also be required to be able to query a

It would also be nice to be able to query a template from a series, based on the Launchpad template name.

PO Files

Retrieve the list of all PO files for a template in a series.

The list should contain:

Import queue



First, I'd do API for single PO file statistics: you'd have to worry about exporting a shared interface IRosettaStats through API, so all the other objects which are based on it will get the same API as well.

Next step would be to figure out a good API for a single potemplate and work on that. Other than the simple properties, the most interesting bit here is how do you get statistics for a bunch of attached PO files. If you don't do anything but just export a single method to list out all the PO files, you'll be doing one API call for each of the languages for a PO template and that's going to be very slow. Eg. to get full status export for Ubuntu out of LP you'd need to do some ~400k API calls.

So, a much better solution to that is to provide a method which gives you all related PO file statistics: "getPOFilesWithStatistics()" which returns tuples of form (POFile, translated_count, changed_count, unreviewed_count, untranslated_count) directly. FWIW, I'd keep this a separate step as well, so this would be bug/branch 3 already :)

And only then, as the final step, I'd do an export of IPOTemplateS(ubs)et APIs for all the different objects that have them. As another part of this step, you'd probably want to do the similar to above and provide a getPOFilesWithStatistics(language) method on them.

If you don't divide the work in this manner, you are going to end up with a gigantic branch that'll be hard to get right and get landed, and everybody will easily get lost about what exactly should be the next step.


How will we know when we are done?

How will we measure how well we have done?