Translate Toolkit & Pootle

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Pootle design

We want to communicate our values and our strengths with the design of Pootle. Here we collect some of our main design goals, principles, and ideas. This should help new contributors to understand what to aim for, and for all developers to judge new ideas against.

Target audience

Pootle is aimed at several users, but these are the most prominent ones:

  1. Regular translators that use Pootle to maintain some project/language -- they learn how to use Pootle, know all the available functions and they are focused on the content -- they don't need much help from the UI -- the less the UI gets in the way, the better.
  2. Accidental or opportunistic translators that come to suggest a bunch of strings they noticed untranslated (or incorrectly translated) in some product UI. They are usually new to Pootle, and just want to quickly find the string they care about and provide a suggestion for a desired language.
  3. Server, project, and language administrators, that want to perform administration, assign rights, track progress, etc.

Furthermore we'll want to target people from any and all languages, big and small, developed or underdeveloped. We will assume that most of our users aren't English, and therefore strive for perfect i18n of Pootle itself.

Target platforms


We want to work well on small screens (a reasonable experience on 10”-13” screens is ideal). End-user hardware released in the last few years should be able to handle using Pootle well.

We want to run reasonably well on older servers, although big installations can rely on more powerful servers. We currently run reasonably big sites on less than 1 GB of RAM. TODO: expand this a bit.


Pootle should work on many browsers, while being realistic about which features can be implemented easily and the representation of different browsers in the current and future user base. So we obviously should try to work on most browsers, with a reasonable fallback for legacy browsers like IE6 and IE7 where possible.

A lot of functionality in Pootle now uses JavaScript, but we should aim for a reasonable experience when JavaScript is disabled where possible.

We can assume that CSS is enabled.

More detailed pages