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Kubernetes Docs Updates, International Edition

Author: Zach Corleissen (Linux Foundation)

As a co-chair of SIG Docs, I'm excited to share that Kubernetes docs have a fully mature workflow for localization (l10n).

Abbreviations galore

L10n is an abbreviation for localization.

I18n is an abbreviation for internationalization.

I18n is what you do to make l10n easier. L10n is a fuller, more comprehensive process than translation (t9n).

Why localization matters

The goal of SIG Docs is to make Kubernetes easier to use for as many people as possible.

One year ago, we looked at whether it was possible to host the output of a Chinese team working independently to translate the Kubernetes docs. After many conversations (including experts on OpenStack l10n), much transformation, and renewed commitment to easier localization, we realized that open source documentation is, like open source software, an ongoing exercise at the edges of what's possible.

Consolidating workflows, language labels, and team-level ownership may seem like simple improvements, but these features make l10n scalable for increasing numbers of l10n teams. While SIG Docs continues to iterate improvements, we've paid off a significant amount of technical debt and streamlined l10n in a single workflow. That's great for the future as well as the present.

Consolidated workflow

Localization is now consolidated in the kubernetes/website repository. We've configured the Kubernetes CI/CD system, Prow, to handle automatic language label assignment as well as team-level PR review and approval.

Language labels

Prow automatically applies language labels based on file path. Thanks to SIG Docs contributor June Yi, folks can also manually assign language labels in pull request (PR) comments. For example, when left as a comment on an issue or PR, this command assigns the label language/ko (Korean).

/language ko

These repo labels let reviewers filter for PRs and issues by language. For example, you can now filter the k/website dashboard for PRs with Chinese content.

Team review

L10n teams can now review and approve their own PRs. For example, review and approval permissions for English are assigned in an OWNERS file in the top subfolder for English content.

Adding OWNERS files to subdirectories lets localization teams review and approve changes without requiring a rubber stamp approval from reviewers who may lack fluency.

What's next

We're looking forward to the doc sprint in Shanghai to serve as a resource for the Chinese l10n team.

We're excited to continue supporting the Japanese and Korean l10n teams, who are making excellent progress.

If you're interested in localizing Kubernetes for your own language or region, check out our guide to localizing Kubernetes docs and reach out to a SIG Docs chair for support.

Get involved with SIG Docs

If you're interested in Kubernetes documentation, come to a SIG Docs weekly meeting, or join #sig-docs in Kubernetes Slack.