Ubunchu, manga dedicato interamente alla distribuzione Ubuntu.

Ubunchu è un manga dedicato interamente alla distribuzione Ubuntu.

Si tratta di una traduzione delle versione giapponese e parla di tre ragazzi che appartengono al club dei sysadmin e che fanno la loro conoscenza della distribuzione litigando durante l’installazione di un nuovo computer.
Hiroshi SEO ha disegnato un manga giapponese su Ubuntu dal titolo Ubunchu. La trama di questo episodio è semplice. Tre studenti iscritti al club dei “sysadmin” litigano sul quale sistema operativo installare su un desktop nuovo di zecca.

Tra chi vuole installare Windows, e chi vuole installare Slackware, vince il terzo studente, che propone di installare Ubuntu. Meraviglia delle meraviglie, il sistema operativo Ubuntu piace a tutti, sia al guru di Linux abituato a “pigiare i tasti della tastiera”, che all’utente “Point-And-Click” di Microsoft Windows.

C’è da dire che, almeno a una prima impressione, la creazione del fumetto “sembra non essere sponsorizzata da Canonical”. Quindi non si tratta di una operazione di marketing premeditata. Detto questo c’è anche da dire che l’idea non è proprio nuovissima.

Già qualche mese fa Google ha pubblicato un Comics Book su Chrome con l’obiettivo di far conoscere le principali funzionalità del suo browser. Il manga Ubunchu, però, differisce dal fumetto di Chrome per il modo con il quale il “prodotto” viene presentato, certamente molto più “informale e leggero”.


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Ubunchu Chapter Two, in the pipeline

oThose keeping track of Seo’s blog will know that he released chapter 2 of the popular Ubuntu manga comic “Ubunchu”, Those who can read Japanese should head over there and enjoy.

For all those waiting on the English versions (both edited Left to Right and un-edited Right to Left versions) stay tuned. We’ve pretty much got it all translated baring a few last minute tweaks and now I’m just putting it all together into svgs, editing, editing etc etc.

So today I will explain what we have done for this project so far:

Release

The first important part of this project was getting the release under Creative Commons license which allows derivative works. It would have been better to get it without the Non-Commercial clause; but maybe we can work on that with the publishers. Getting the PSD (Photoshop) files from the artist is also very important (see editing).

Transcription

Now it’s time to take each of the pages and transcribe the original text into a translation tool, we used google docs spreadsheets (we could have used Launchpad, but CC-NC prevents us from using lp). Someone who knows Japanese hopefully makes sure that all the text is labeled by Page, Panel and Person. All text is transcribed including sound effects and narrator notes.

First Translation

Screenshot-1

Because we don’t have anyone that speaks Japanese and English well enough we have to do our translations in two steps. First the translator (Hito) takes the Japanese and produces a rough English translation called “Engrish”, he also makes translator notes in another column which gives cultural background and other note worthy information.

Second Translation

Now those who speak English very well (that would be me and Arturo) go through each of the Engrish translations and produce reasonable English that fits in context and in the boxes provided on the page. We are doing a number of passes between each of us because it’s important to get the flow of the English and make sure the comic doesn’t loose authenticity.

Image Editing

Screenshot

We need to take the original Photoshop files and remove all Japanese. Because Seo was forward thinking most of the text is on separate layers which can be hidden, any mistaken or other text is carefully removed too using Gimp and any places where the original art was deleted for the text aura is repaired. These files are saved as gimp xcf files and a resized export is made to png.

LtR Editing

Lots of people won’t agree with the Left to Right editing, but since we’re making sure both versions are available I don’t think they have much to complain about. I like reading Left to Right. So flipping the new xcf files will produce a good result most of the time, you will find instances where there was some English or written name which now needs to be flipped or redrawn. In the case of chapter 02 I had to redraw the blackboard textures and redo one of the screenshots in order to get text the right way round.

Vector Production

I create the final result by importing each page image into an SVG file. I do this so that the language can be in xml and to make export to pdf easier. It also allows us to export a pot file which can be used to create translations with existing tools. Once I’ve got each page imported, I take the text and position it on each page and in each panel. The editing touches are to select font and redraw sound effect words (which are not usually from fonts).

Binding

My script outputs a PDF file and a source tar, but I also have a workbook version of the PDF that allows me to print off several copies for last week’s UDS in Barcelona. Very few people got a copy and it involves taking each page going from the first and last towards the middle and alternating between inside and outside pages. People who have done this to make books will recognise the pattern.

Hopefully we’ll be done with this soon and if you’d like to help translate it into your language we will make sure the link to the google doc is also released so everyone can join in and make a column for their language.


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Luca Soraci

Luca Soraci

Ubuntu giunge alle nostre orecchie solo perché è stato mutuato come nome per un sistema operativo di successo; lo abbiamo sentito nei discorsi di Mandela, del vescovo Tutu, ed è uno dei concetti fondanti di quel movimento di rinascimento che vuole far fiorire il continente africano al di sopra delle difficoltà attuali.

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