Skycon over

I’m sitting in Shannon airport, overlooking the marsh lands at the edge of the river Shannon, having spent the past few days at SkyCon, in Limerick.

Jono, Stuart and I were here to talk on our various areas of interest, and grabbed the opportunity to record an episode of LugRadio. We interviewed some cool people and the show will be out next Monday, as usual.

My talk was about translating using Launchpad. Ireland is one Europe’s most important centres for localisation and it was astounding just how many people I met that are involved in either software translation or documentation.

On my first day at SkyCon, I met up with Noirin, who works as a technical author and uses Launchpad’s Translations for her work on free software projects. Her enthusiasm for Launchpad was great.

“I love Launchpad,” she told me.

Launchpad’s Translations does exactly what she needs and makes it easy.

Noirin confirmed my belief that we’re on the cusp of a new wave of people in the free software community who aren’t coders but who care about software freedom and can plug many of the skills gaps in the community.

Launchpad works for Noirin because it lets her concentrate on one thing: being a translator. She doesn’t have to care about po files or even know that GetText exists.

We need to find ways that enable non-coders – like me – to get the most from the time they have to spend on software projects. Whether it’s a service/software like Launchpad, or a community like SpreadFirefox, I can’t wait to see how our community is going to make the most of the skills that the rest of the world has to offer.