There are several ways you can contribute to improve Pootle, even if you don’t know programming! Want to know how? Please keep reading.

Requesting features

Sometimes Pootle doesn’t quite meet your expectations or you have an idea for a great new feature.

It might help to understand how Pootle developers evaluate new features:

  1. Is it generally useful? i.e. will it be useful for a large number of people?
  2. Does it follow the ethos of Pootle? e.g. does it keep the interface clean, is it intuitive and non-technical?
  3. How long would it take to implement?
    1. Does it require fundamental changes to how Pootle works? i.e. long, or
    2. Is this just a simple change of layout or a simple feature? i.e. short
  4. Is this something a developer is passionate about? Does this meet their itch or are they convinced it is a winning feature?

How can I make a winning feature request?

If you really do want your feature to succeed here are some options to help you when reporting or requesting the feature.

  1. Have you thought about this and provided a clear use case?
    • Using a real use case would be good.
    • Make it clear why you think this feature is important, don’t assume it is obvious.
  2. Have you made some mockups of the UI?
    • Isn’t it a bit unfair that you expect a volunteer coder to create the mockup for your feature?
  3. Did you have some discussion on the mailing list or on the Pootle channel?
    • Drive-by feature requests usually don’t get attention. But if you have built a case and some links to developers, i.e. they know you, then they will listen. Proposing your idea in these forums could be helpful for your case.
  4. Can you code?
    • If you can code the feature yourself that will always win some acceptance. But realise that someone does need to review your code and your code still needs to meet the acceptance criterion. So discuss early.
    • If you can’t code, commission someone to write it for you. Or spend a lot more time making sure that you use the volunteers’ free time to your best advantage, i.e. you need to work hard to make the feature clear and easy to implement.

Reporting bugs

In order to best solve the problem we need good bug reports. Reports that do not give a full picture or which coders are unable to reproduce, end up wasting a lot of time. If you, the expert in your bug, spend a bit of time you can make sure your bug gets fixed.

First see if the bug is not already reported. Perhaps someone already reported it and you can provide some extra information in that bug report. You can also add yourself in the CC field so that you get notified of any changes to the bug report.

If you could not find the bug, you should report it. Look through each of the following sections and make sure you have given the information required.

Be verbose

Tell us exactly how came to see this bug. Don’t say:

Suggesting doesn't work

Rather say:

In a translation project with proper permissions when I try to suggest I
get a 404 error.

So we need to know:

  1. What procedure you followed
  2. What you got, and
  3. What you expected to get

Steps to reproduce

Tell us exactly how to reproduce the error. Mention the steps if needed, or give an example. Without being able to reproduce the error, it will not easily get fixed.

Include tracebacks

If you are a server administrator you can get this information from the web server’s error log. In case you’re hacking on Pootle, the traceback will be displayed both in the console and the browser.

A traceback will give a much better clue as to what the error might be and send the coder on the right path. It may be a very simple fix, may relate to your setup or might indicate a much more complex problem. Tracebacks help coders get you information quicker.

Be available

If you can be on Pootle channel or the mailing list to answer questions and test possible fixes then this will help to get your problem fixed quickly.


Pootle’s User Interface translations are kept in the official Pootle server. If you have a user in that server, you can start translating right away. Otherwise, just create a new user and start translating.

If your language already has a translation and you want to further improve or complete it, you can contribute suggestions that will later be reviewed by the language administrators.

If you can’t find your language and want to have that added or have concerns of any other means, contact us on the Pootle channel.

Although desirable, it’s not mandatory to use the official Pootle server to translate Pootle itself. In case you feel more comfortable working with files and offline tools, just head to the code repository at GitHub, create your localization based on the latest template and submit it to us by opening a bug or by sending us a pull request.

There are some addtional localization requirements beyond translation, so please review those to ensure that your language is 100% translated.


You can help us documenting Pootle by just mentioning typos, providing reworded alternatives or by writing full sections.

Pootle’s documentation is written using reStructuredText and Sphinx.

If you intend to build the documentation yourself (it’s converted from reST to HTML using Sphinx), you may want to setup a development environment for that.