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Identify translations of a Legalpad document as instances of the same document
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This is a real Wikimedia use case:

  • We are going to use Legalpad to do what Legalpad is supposed to do: keep track of which users have signed DocumentX.
  • Our community is multilingual, and therefore DocumentX will be available in a bunch of languages.
  • However, from a legal point of view it doesn't matter whether Mary signed DocumentX in English, or Juan signed it in Spanish. Our Legal team needs a single list of users that have signed the doc.

Currently Legalpad considers every document a different document. The only way to present different translations of a same document is to concatenate them in a single document, which is not an option for us. What shall we do?

In principle, the language of the document would be presented in the same language of the Phabricator locale (yep, we need a multilingual Phabricator now). How complex would it be to make that DocumentX_en, DocumentX_es, DocumentX_fr, etc would be considered instances of the same legal document?

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(If you haven't seen it yet, T3116 has some general discussion of planned features.)

The major issue I worry about here is how this interacts with updates. It probably means that we need to separate major versions of the document (versions which change the legal meaning of the document) from minor versions (versions which, e.g., correct spelling). It makes workflows where an agreement changes and requires re-signature more complicated (what if a translation of the new version isn't available yet?).

I think this stuff is reasonably easy to build and answer, but it's more complicated than just putting a "language" column in the database, and we're a decent amount of work behind having Legalpad work well for pure-English documents.

Just letting you know that is now in production. It is still an empty shell going through basic testing before adding an actual document in English and asking real users to sign it.

We will know soon how big & deep is the demand for multilingual instances of the English doc. While this feature is implemented, we might just post docs in different languages. I'll keep you posted here.

libregeek triaged this task as Normal priority.Jul 16 2014, 1:22 PM