A question for the masters. In the new localization plattform https://crowdin.com/, is there any guaranty that the translations we donate for free to open source software are not offered to propietary software (for free or by payment)? Clients of Crowdin are Microsoft, Wikia...
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- Hi José,
Crowdin is actually allowing txp to use their commercial platform for free so I guess - and if you are right - there is no such thing as a free beer.
I worked on the Greek translation and if they want to sell it, it's fine by me. They have to make their expenses somehow.25w
- Phil WarehamOwnerHi José,
Yiannis is correct, we do use Crowdin's service for free, as they allow select open-source projects to use their platform for free.
Crowdin don't sell your translations to other companies. The translations do aggregate into the machine translations tool used within the platform (so, for instance, for a common term like 'Log out' it aggregates translations from all project the use a similar term in the platform and then suggests that as an auto-translation). Similar to how Google Translate learns new translations.25w
- Well, Phil. As I see it, the result is similar to "Crowdin do sell your translations to other companies". They obtain our translations for free, because we donate it to open software applications (and not explicitely to propietary applications), and they make money from propietary software selling the result of our translations. And in my point of view it is inmoral not to notify me it in advance clearly (they didn't, as far as I can remember). Will I work for propietary source for free? No, thanks.
I started translating TXP in 2008, and have been its main translator since then. I stop translating it from now in advance, as I stopped translating Cyberduck (in Transifex) for the same reasons. Both are good software and can be used in its original English language as well.
Γειά σου, Γιάννη, Phil, and the others. :)
- Hola José,
I can understand your scepticism and I can not pretend that there are no ethical issues involved with this. On the other hand, I can argue that crowdin assisted me with the translation. As the txp community is mostly not made of linguists, translation of technical terms can be hard for most people and there is no doubt that the reason we did a lot of work on localising the strings was partly because of the software.
I for one, can not even translate most of the architectural terms into greek - and I have studied and practising the subject. Crwdin's machine translations, most times, pointed me to the right direction allowing me to spend only a couple of days to do the translation.
Indeed these translations may be used by other, paying members of the software but isn't it similar when we use google translate, g+, or any other covertly commercial product? As ethical as we try to be, the net is steadily and surely been taken over by companies reminiscent of the feudal system of the medieval times. Do we totally stop using Academia.edu, Amazon, google, mac or pc products and/or software and move to open source alternatives? I wish that we all could, but a lot more work is needed until we will be able to.18w
- Hi, and sorry for the delay in my answer. In my opinion, the use of Crowdin (particularly its Service Global Translation Memory) violates the GNU GPL v.2 license used to distribute Textpattern. Someone from TXP offered my (copyrighted by me) translations to Spanish to other users of Crowdin that own propietary software in exchange for using the translation service of Crowdin. By this procedure violates our license: "…you can distribute Textpattern, in part or full, in its original form or with modifications and additions, provided you distribute it under the GPL. Distributing any part of Textpattern, including derived works, under any other license, is not permitted." Don't you agree?18w
- Hi José,
Consider this scenario. A company approaches a txp designer/hacker who changes the admin side of the software to suit the client's specifications and creates an original design for the public side. He then uploads the cms to a server he controls, and gives the client access to the write/images/files parts (author privileges). The client is happy as their site is maintained and updating content - which is what they want - is a breeze.
The designer charges his fees and the client has no real access to the inner workings of the website including the full web interface, the db, or the hacked txp code.
Would that be violating the GPL licence? In my view it does, but the alternative could mean allowing the client to destroy all the work by changing, even minor snippets of the templates or txp code.
Sometimes in my opinion we have to think of the spirit of the licence/law rather than its letter.18w