Introducing the JCM/ES
Three men, two continents, one island and a common language. Through their hard work, today we welcome the first multilingual experience on joomla.org. Their story is Joomla at its very best...
Many pieces had to come together to make the Spanish magazine a reality. One group, the Joomla Community Magazine Comunidad Ñ team, made the need for multilanguages not only urgent and necessary, but also possible. This article will introduce the men behind this group. They are the inspiration and the drive for the new functionality brought to you on the magazine today.
Thanks to Guillermo Bravo, Carlos Rodriguez and Manuel Rubio, the magazine has published as many articles in Spanish as in English in recent months. The fact that the International Section on the magazine is not very accessible did not stop them. They encouraged community members to contribute more and more original articles in Spanish. At the same time, with no translation tool to make things easier, they spontaneously translated more and more of the English articles, so that important articles about Joomla would be accessible to Spanish speakers around the world.
Gentlemen, please introduce yourselves:
Guillermo Bravo: Hello! My name is Guillermo Bravo (AKA Willin). I have being involved in different Joomla! projects for many years. I started working in Joomla! communities with the JUG Iquique, the city where I live. Then I started to collaborate on the .org Joomla! project, and today I’m distributing my time between both the Joomla Community Leadership Team (CLT) and the Joomla Community Magazine. I live in Chile, as I said before, in a coastal city near the Atacama Desert. I’m a Social networks junkie, specializing in Facebook, where I try to spread the Joomla! word to all the people who want to learn about our fantastic CMS, and also exchanging with people who want to share their knowledge in the Joomla! sphere.
Carlos Rodríguez: My name is Carlos Rodriguez Sanchez, and I live in Cuba. I am a Computer Engineer and webmaster working for a local newspaper, where I develop the website using Joomla. I collaborate actively with the Joomla community, especially with the Comunidad Ñ, either in the official Joomla forum in Spanish, or on social networks. Primarily I participate in four Joomla groups, working for the Joomla! Community Magazine month after month, in conjunction with the Marketing team and Dissemination of Joomla in Spanish, which I enjoy very much. I am also supporting the creation of a new Joomla User Group (JUG - CARIBBEAN), the area where I live.
I'm very happy with everything that is happening in Joomla, mainly in the community. And much happier still to be contributing my two cents.
Manuel Rubio: I live in a small Catalan village, near the Pyrenees, near Olot, in the region of the Garrotxa. Normally I work from home, out in the country.
It is difficult to explain my work in a few words, but I think the word that best expresses my activity is "entrepreneur". My relationship with Joomla is not strictly business, it's a hobby. Today, with other people, I'm starting two social activity projects, one in the area where I live, and one in Zaragoza. Both have an important link with technology, and of course, both use Joomla. My mind is full of ideas, but there aren't enough hours in the day. I'm trying to reach an agreement with the Supreme Being for the day to have 34 hours ... I also help other entrepreneurs get started with their projects.
My relationship with Joomla began with the need for a website for a project. That was five years ago. Since then I have continued to learn and investigate, using Joomla. For me there are two reasons I fell in love with Joomla: first, the immense possibilities. Personally I think it is being used at less than 10% of its potential; and the second is the community. Since I started using it, I've done about 20 web sites, all free, as they are contributions to nonprofit entities. For about eight months, I initiated contact with the team of Joomla Marketing and Outreach in Spanish on Facebook, and 5 months ago we started as a group to translate articles for the Magazine. I am happy to participate in the community and to give my two cents for it to be growing stronger and stronger.
Why is being part of the Comunidad Ñ group and working on the magazine important to you?
Manuel: It's a matter of personal experience. I believe in collaborative work and giving to others as a way of life. This is the only way of life for me... and I also believe in the possibilities of Joomla, as a technological possibility to express this personal choice. Joomla brings together two things I love: technology, and the opportunity to give of myself.
Guillermo: Being part of the magazine is to be part of some of the more interactive projects inside the Joomla family. All the groups have a lot of interaction, but the magazine has a monthly one that allows us to keep in touch with the community. We have a lot of things to tell, stories, tutorials, news, a lot of awesome stuff to share. The magazine is the right place to convert all these things into an article that can be shared with the community. I remember when I started publishing articles in Spanish alone and dreaming of working with a group. Now it is a dream come true to be part of such an active working group. Manuel and Carlos have been a very important piece of this engine to make this work.
Carlos: Belonging to this excellent group has been a privilege for me as it's always nice to work with such professionals. I learned a lot in this group, not only regarding Joomla as a CMS itself, but everything that Joomla is capable of creating, like "true friendships".
Collaborating on the Magazine has been very important to me, because I always wanted to help the Joomla community and the project, but especially the Hispanic community. So when Guillermo started this group, I saw my dream come true.
You all live in very different places and time zones - how did you coordinate to make such a tight group and be so productive?
Carlos: Our primary means of communication is Facebook. Skype is not allowed in my country, so they kindly accepted my requirement and decided to communicate via Facebook. And up to now everything has gone very well, and we hope it will continue. It's a matter of long hours of chats, and hard work. We learned a lot as a group, but I think the most important thing is that we have been slowly learning to think as a group.
Guillermo: Coordinate? What does coordinate mean? LOL... Our primary contact medium is Facebook due to the fact that it is the only way Carlos can get in contact with us. In Facebook we can get a lot of work done. Considering I’m a Facebook junky, it is not difficult be in touch. As far as I remember we don’t have a schedule system, we just have a chat and we talk everyday. Sometimes I’m at my office and can’t chat, but as a team we have learned each other's times and we try to keep in contact each other. Sometimes there have been so many messages that I have consumed all my cell phone battery charge due to all the message notifications I get.
Manuel: There is usually much to talk about, and we use Facebook and Skype, but especially FB because Carlos cannot use Skype for reasons that we all know.
The truth is that it was fairly easy despite the distance. Well, some days I have to turn off alerts or at midnight I keep receiving messages with Zzzzzzz, but that fortunately has only been few times :-)
What were the major challenges to overcome in building a version of the magazine entirely in Spanish?
Carlos: The main challenge was adapting to the Josetta translation tool. We had expected to use Joomla multi-language, but as we planned the the translating system and got used to this change, everything went very smoothly.
Guillermo: I guess there’s more than one challenge. Josetta has been one of them, but also it’s become a great opportunity to try a new tool and learn its multiples benefits. Also we have the language challenge. Some people think that because we are Ñ we speak the same language and that’s not 100% true. We have so many cultural differences between our countries that a great challenge has been learn to write in neutral Spanish. IMHO this has been one of the biggest challenges.
Manuel: Well, we are still in it ... For me it is without doubt the translation system. The Josetta application itself is not difficult, but we were all familiar with the Joomla multi-language extension. But the important thing is that now there is a magazine in Spanish ... the rest were merely challenges to overcome.
What do you think of Josetta so far, the translation tool we are using on the magazine?
Guillermo: Since first time I used Josetta I noticed that is a great tool. All of us on the team know how to use the multilingual Joomla tool, but once you learn how to use Josetta, it is very friendly to work with it. For sitebuilders it is a very good extension to create multilingual websites without the need to allow everybody access to the backend, as they can translate directly from the frontend.
Manuel: I know it is a tool for translation from the user interface and not from the administration. Personally I'm quite used to use another system, so I had to change the way I work.
Carlos: I think it's a great tool, allowing you to take your site to another language without the need for many hands in the backend. In my opinion, the multi-language Joomla core has more qualities, but translators need to enter the backend, which is not possible with more and more translators working on the magazine. Therefore Josetta is a correct choice.
What is your vision for the Spanish Joomla Community Magazine for the future?
Carlos: My vision has always been to make the magazine a monthly mandatory reference object inside and outside the Joomla community, for it to become a symbol of wisdom and learning for our community. But above all, it is a means of communication and discussion between each member of the community.
Manuel: Initially I do not think it has to be very different from the English, maybe with some changes in the position of the modules ... but essentially as a tool to disseminate Joomla!
Another thing may be the articles, which are likely to have a different approach since the Spanish-speaking audience has different characteristics from the English. However, who and what Joomla is in the Community should not have substantial differences between the two.
Guillermo: I can't wait to see more Spanish articles published in the magazine. There's so many blogs in Spanish talking about Joomla, and I hope to see all those authors contributing at least 1 article each month. We all have lots of things to tell and the magazine is just the right place. So I'm pretty sure that with this new step we are taking, for sure there will be more authors coming into the magazine in Spanish. I guess the future of the Spanish edition is "to Inifinity and Beyond" ;)...
What is your advice to other communities who would like to see their language flag added to the language options on the magazine?
Carlos: Most importantly, I believe that the Magazine should be an object of reference within the community. Gather together those who want to see this come true, and carry it out. But it takes several months of team work to achieve. After overcoming all the obstacles that appear along the way, they will have a magazine in their own language.
Manuel: I think the most important thing is matching several people who want to support the community by translating articles from other languages, and also who want to contribute and encourage creators of original content. In short, create a team of 4 or 5 people maximum.
This kind of group work requires patience, generosity and objectivity, in addition to managing your time and work effort. It is important to be able to listen to the opinions of others and choose the best option regardless of your point of view. I really consider it a personal and group exercise that helps us to know how to live better in the world.
Guillermo: If some communities want to see their language flag added to the International community magazine edition, the first step is to kidnap Carlos and Manuel... But seriously, it is a great exercise in tolerance and respect for each other. Every step we have taken has been under consensus, and we have talked about it ahead of time. Each email we send is sent with a cc, so each of us always knows what is happening around us. Based on our own experience, I guess a big group of people may not work so well, as Manuel says, so 4 or 5 is a good number to begin.
Which will be the next non-English magazine to be launched? It takes a dedicated team to do the initial translating of the menus, categories, static pages, etc., and then to oversee the ongoing translation and creation of new articles so that every month a new issue of articles in that language will be delivered. Interested? Write to
On a related topic, don't miss the interview with Vic Drover, who spent many hours configuring the magazine for multilanguages and installed the translation tool Josetta.