Localizing the Q&A Systems

by José Antonio Rey

You may know one of the most used resources for support in the Ubuntu Community is AskUbuntu.com. But there is a big problem with the system: it is only in English. So many people end up wondering where can they get support in their local language, as their English level is not that good, or do not even understand it, or maybe they want to get support on their language. They go to their Local Community teams, and maybe Launchpad, but we all feel this is not enough.

In an effort to give a solution to this problem, which we discussed last UDS during the Leadership Summit, I got assigned the work item to investigate and work on localizing the Question and Answer (Q&A) systems. As I mentioned before, we are using Ask Ubuntu! as the current Q&A system, and is only available on English, and if anyone asks a question in other language it gets translated. But we want to have a system that can be used in various languages for people to get support in their native language, with no hesitations. This will be a way to improve the quality of the support given at the moment, and also get to a broader scope when we are talking about outreach. Ubuntu is available in many different languages, so why not also offer support in those languages?

So this is where you come in. I have been investigating on various Q&A systems, but would like to hear from all of your suggestions on which systems can be used for this specific project. That is why I have created the QandALocalization wiki page for you to add all your ideas on the project. We really need your help on this issue, as I would like to have many systems to compare, and finally decide on which one we should be using, so I do not regret about choosing the wrong system.

I would like to mention some requirements for the systems, remember they should have most of them (if not all!):

  • Free and Open Source Software
  • Easily translatable, even better if it can be done with Launchpad
  • Integration with Single Sign-On systems, as we would use the Ubuntu SSO for logins
  • Points or trophies system
  • Obviously, a nice design that looks professional, and can be tweaked to get an Ubuntu theme
  • It would be great if it is already translated in some languages</li

If the system you are thinking of meets those requirements, it is certainly something we are looking forward to analyze. In the future we will need the help from developers, translators and designers, so we can create a platform that can be stable and fulfills all of our requirements. I will also make sure to provide constant updates on how the project is going. I am really excited to start this, and expect a great outcome from it.

If you have any suggestions or want to chat about the project, you can go to the #ubuntu-q+a channel on irc.freenode.net (click here to join using webchat) and ping me (JoseeAntonioR), or you can also send me an email to joseeantonior AT ubuntu DOT com, I will be happy to answer all your enquiries and listen to all of your feedback.