2014 in review from a multilingual Drupal perspective

Whew! 2014 was a fantastic year for the Drupal multilingual team. We had some great events with huge sprints, including but not limited to: Global Sprint Weekend, the amazing Drupal Dev Days Europe, NYC Camp, DrupalCon Austin, DrupalCon Amsterdam and BADCamp.

A fun fact about people on the multilingual team is that even though we usually turn out in big numbers at sprints, there are numerous great mentors among us, so we don't work on code that much at mentored sprints. We do a great job helping people get started and move into more serious core work though. Our most famous mentee this past year is 2014th Drupal 8 core contributor Holly Ross, Executive Director of the Drupal Association who contributed her first and second core patches fixing multilingual issues.

Check out this video on her first contribution:

While there is clearly a group of usual suspects opening and fixing issues, there is a really long tail of contributors as well. There were 80 different people opening issues and lots more, 131 contributing significantly to fix them (based on commit messages). While the top 6 contributed to fixing over 10 issues each, there is lots of room for helping in the initiative:

The multilingual team remains to be a friendly and fun place to start contributing to Drupal core.

As for whether we are working on the right things, 55% of our issues were bug reports and 44% were tasks. The remaining 1% is feature requests with only one support request. This is no surprise given the current phase of the release.

How good are we in fixing things? We opened 351 new multilingual issues in 2014, that is almost one every single day! We resolved 229 (65%) within the year. I am sure there are duplicates and some outdated reports among the ones still open but there are definitely remaining legitimate open issues too. But do we need experts to resolve them? Turns out we are very good at resolving the big problems. Although help is still welcome there if you have the capacity, there is even more space with the normal and minor issues especially for newcomers. These are great targets to bring to the Global Sprint Weekend in 2015 and further mentored sprints:

We do put in a lot of effort into resolving these issues. The total comment count on the 351 issues opened is 8033, so on average 23 comments per issue. The total contributor count on Drupal 8 multilingual issues based on comments to date is above 1100 people (including all previous years), so we have lots of commenters who may not post patch updates but help test and provide feedback to move issues forward. Compared to the above mentioned 134 people who were highlighted in commit messages in 2014.

Looking at how much overall impact our changes have on Drupal 8, in terms of numbers, out of the 3736 total Drupal 8 commits made last year, 186 commits(*) referred an issue from the multilingual initiative, that is about 5%. I am sure the actual impact of the changes made is much more significant. We filed at least 10 issues each in key components like the language system, configuration system, language.module, content_translation.module, locale.module, config_translation.module, the install system, the entity system, the menu system, CSS and views.module. The most important multilingual changes are indeed found in these areas.

Given the pieces were coming together, we got published in the DrupalCon Austin edition of Drupal Watchdog. Check out Drupal in Babel for a good overview of all the new things for foreign language and multilingual sites in Drupal 8. We also created a nice Drupal 8 distribution to demonstrate the new multilingual features with sample content in multiple languages. Even better, we developed a workshop around this distribution so you can immerse yourself in the new elements and walk through building foreign language or multilingual sites with Drupal 8 yourself or deliver the workshop to a local audience. The workshop handout, slides, demonstration distribution and the two hours of original recording is all open sourced. It is easy and free to try it out on simplytest.me for 30 minutes.

Let me extend my thanks to all 1100+ contributors on the initiative! Here's for a strong 2015, let's bring all our innovation to live sites soon!

(*) The number of commits is lower than the number of closed issues because we have issues for discussions and identify duplicate and outdated issues from time to time.

Photo of fran seva sprinting on multilingual issues in Amsterdam by Pedro Lozano from Flickr.

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