How much time is often passed after finished commitment phase to the beta launching? For example, there is 3 commited SO translation proposals for a long time, but beta has not been launched yet:

Okay, the turkish one has a delay message:

This launch is on hold while we add the international features needed to make it functional for this community. Allowing international characters in tags is our first priority before launch. Dates will be announced when available.

But others have message We are preparing for its launch and expect to create it soon. for a long time already.

To be clear: I'm asking about delay in general, not about those proposals especially (they're just an example).

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possible duplicate of Time & work to be done from 100% commitment to private beta – Gilles Feb 13 '14 at 6:22
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While discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/9644/… answers your question, you do point to a valid issue: the descriptions of SO in Spanish and SO in Russian should have a similar message indicating that these sites are delayed until sufficient support for these languages can be had. (Not just in terms of technical features, but also in terms of having staff who speak the language and can guide these sites.) – Gilles Feb 13 '14 at 6:24
    
I don't really know what they mean international chars in tags? If that means UTF8 support, they suck. How come SO does not support UTF8? – tasomaniac Aug 8 '14 at 9:22
    
@tasomaniac UTF8 isn't the problem I think. But tags and titles are usually also in links, and links aren't UTF8. There should be some way to convert the extra characters to English charset. – user128443 Feb 9 '15 at 11:43
    
Is this too hard to do? – tasomaniac Feb 9 '15 at 11:44
    
Turkish i problem is a problem alone (: – FallenAngel Jul 30 '15 at 8:37
    
come on. russion website is open. the letters cant be a reason absolutely – Asqan Sep 22 '15 at 19:12
    
The proposal of a German language SO was just closed down. I wonder what this means for the Turkish language proposal (at least, it has about twice as many commiters as the German SO proposal). See discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/22216/… – jknappen Nov 10 '15 at 16:10
up vote 36 down vote accepted

The issue in these three cases is different from almost every other proposal. Most sites will get launched a week or two after 100% commitment. There are a few things we need to do to prep a new site, such a establish the URL, pick the favicon, and so on. But proposals for SO in other languages require significantly more preparation to do right.

The good news is that our recent launch of Stack Overflow em Português has paved the way for many of the technical preliminaries. Now that we've localized a site in one language, it should be easier (technically) to do it in others. Also, the early signs suggest the Portuguese SO launch is among our most successful.

The bad news is that each language comes with non-technical challenges. The biggest is that we need to have at least one community manager who speaks the language. That's a rather substantial investment for Stack Exchange, Inc. Before we launched pt.SO, we didn't know for sure that it would be necessary. But now, it's quite clear that we need to have an employee who speaks the language and knows the culture in order to support the users of a site in another language.

So, for the moment, these three proposals will remain in limbo. We have high hopes we will be able to launch more SO sites in other languages, but we can't give any estimates. (Not even 6-8 weeks.)


I've updated the announcement on those three proposals to read:

This launch is on hold while we add the international features needed to make it functional for this community. Dates will be announced when available.

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Thank you for the provided answer! it explains everything. – Hast Feb 13 '14 at 18:29
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But why couldn't active community members temporary substitute empolyee until you'll find one? Is it so importnt? – Hast Feb 13 '14 at 18:31
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@Hast: There's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem there. In order to know who would make a good moderator for the site, we'd need to have a good understanding of the language and culture that the site targets. Community Managers are typically most involved in the formative stages of community growth. – Jon Ericson Feb 14 '14 at 23:28
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Is Stack Exchange even looking for community managers in these languages (Spanish, Russian, Turkish)? One the job listings page, it has a listing for a bilingual English/Japanese community manager, but not for Spanish, Russian or Turkish! Why is this? There's not even a proposal on Area51 for a Japanese Stack Overflow, but there are these three proposals that have had full commitment for a long time now. What's the reasoning for this? – Peter Olson Feb 15 '14 at 15:53
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@Peter Olson: It's partially a business decision. We are currently looking at how our Portuguese site fairs before ramping up for other languages. It's very difficult to get your foot in the door in Japan and the number of Japanese programmers who don't operate in English is rather large. We need a much larger lead time to find the right candidate to manage a Japanese community simply because there are fewer bilingual programmers than Spanish and Russian, at least. After we feel that Portuguese has been successful, we will start prioritizing the next expansion. – Jon Ericson Feb 15 '14 at 19:50
    
@Jon, thanks for the detailed answer. Since SO doesn't have a Turkish community manager yet (and wouldn't have one in the near future) I guess the best option is using the beta committers for this need. We may also help you to prioritize language specific problems you mentioned. – pembeci Feb 21 '14 at 0:25
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For instance, I believe accent characters in tags shouldn't be a show-stopper. Most of the tags are technical English words containing no such characters. Besides Turkish people are very accustomed to using the ASCII counterparts for such letters. I know it isn't an ideal solution but I'll (and I believe most Turkish people will) prefer having the site launch and use tags in a limited manner rather than waiting for this feature to be implemented. This is what I mean by helping to prioritize (i.e. "is this language specific feature a must or it can wait/ignored?" kind of decisions). – pembeci Feb 21 '14 at 0:26
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Could you please change the message This proposal has reached 100% commitment. We are preparing for its launch and expect to create it soon.? Based on this answer, the "we expect to create it soon" part is false and is frustrating for people who have seen the same message for months. – Peter Olson Mar 1 '14 at 6:43
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@Peter Olson: We went with This launch is on hold while we add the international features needed to make it functional for this community. Dates will be announced when available. While this does leave out parts of the story, it should give people more reasonable expectations. – Jon Ericson Mar 8 '14 at 19:55
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@JonEricson what are the criteria to say that Portugese has been successful? How much do you want/need to invest in given language? Do you really need a full-time employee? Do you need to establish a company filiae in given country to achieve that? Maybe starting up a new market would be much cheaper than you think, especially when you find some local partner. – Donaudampfschifffreizeitfahrt Apr 16 '14 at 8:46
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@jachguate: Good news! This summer we hired a Japanese-speaking Community Manager who is working with our transaltion service to prepare for a Japanese alpha. And, to you particular interest, we are actively seeking a Spanish-speaking Community Manager. – Jon Ericson Sep 12 '14 at 16:04
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@JonEricson Thanks for the answer. Yesterday I also noticed (after my post here) the job offering. (I could apply to it). :) I really love the idea to see StackOverflow in Spanish become a reality. So I'm really excited to see this happening. Best regards. – jachguate Sep 12 '14 at 18:09
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@JonEricson Is Nicolas Chabanovsky a new Community Manager for the Russian StackOverflow? – Peter Olson Dec 31 '14 at 20:08
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@PeterOlson: We haven't announced it just yet, but that is the plan. – Jon Ericson Dec 31 '14 at 21:13
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@Barranka: The Japanese site is in beta, but there are still localization features left to build. (Today we talked about how comment pings work when people don't use spaces.) We have a Russian translation in the works and are starting on Spanish. As Peter noted above, we've hired a Russian Community Manager and we are searching for a Spanish-speaking Community Manager. Unfortunately, our plate is full with those languages, so Turkish might be a ways off still. The good news is that we've seen a lot of success so far. – Jon Ericson Mar 11 '15 at 23:31

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