[PGCanada] Status of Mothership and DP-EU (and even DP-CAN)

Michael Lockey mlockey at honson.com
Thu Jul 14 20:22:27 PDT 2005

For those who don't know, the term 'Mothership' was coined by DP-EU as a 
friendly appelation of the original site, which should, logically and 
honestly, but isn't (out of a marvellous and praiseworthy reticence) be 
called DP-US.  However, the other sites (DP-EU and potential others) 
acknowledge our debt to the primary site.  'Mothership' is cool enough.

Bearing in mind that I am not a policy maker, nor have I access to 
anything other than public information, I've been around long enough 
that I can honestly say the quality of submissions from DP is much 
higher than when individuals were doing all their own work, with no 
checks except ad hoc.  Naithless, PSTB have determined that quality and 
workflow could be further optimized.  The old system was, basically, 
broken down into Content Provision, two rounds of Proofing (including 
formatting), Post Processing (basically sewing all the parts back 
together and ensuring consistancy, and Post-Process Verification. The 
new system has changed from the two Proofing rounds to two Proofing 
rounds (P1/P2) and two Formatting rounds (F1/F2).  And additional 
(though optional) Whitewashing has also been implemented.  I believe 
that virtually everything is being generated in both ASCII and HTML.  
Ability to perform certain tasks is no longer assumed. For example, you 
must proof 200 pages of an acceptable standard, and be on site for at 
least four months, before you may proof P2.

Results to date have been mixed.  While no one doubts that the long term 
will make things better (apparently the overall quality has improved an 
order of magnitude):  however, production is down; and there are both 
current and predicted bottlenecks which will take months to resolve.  
All of this has led to a certain -brittleness? - on the site, with all 
the questions being raised, and with, alas! some people taking offense 
at things that were certainly not meant to do so.  DP is still, without 
doubt, the friendliest site on the web, and matters will be resolved.  
Finally, all in process work had to be redone.

DP-EU has not yet reached a critical mass.  A great dealt of this is 
due, I think, to the tremendous challenges faced in dealing with so many 
language groups.  (Do you know the site has even been localized in 
Urdhu?)  So far, there are not enough proofers in many different 
languages.  I think, for example, there is only one Bulgarian proofer.  
Who can P2 his work?  I'm very concerned with mentoring at DP-INT, and 
try to do it at DP-EU, too: but we don't have beginner queues there- and 
I'm basically monolingual.  We really need Mentors in each language.  
(Mentoring is, IMHO, one of the main reasons for DP's success.  Not  
only do we assure a level of quality, but we let newcomers know that we 
are a friendly mob, and that they are appreciated.  /Very /important.

Even today, much of the work at EU comes from INT volunteers.  Nowt 
wrong with that.  And, in turn, Team Canada members are an important 
part of INT.  While we- me, at least- would dearly like to see DP-CAN up 
and lurching, it would obviously reduce resources currently active on 
the other two sites.  I do have an agreement with TPL for publicity to 
get new proofers when we do launch, (and they are going to be providing 
some magnificent material), but let's make sure the two existing sites 
are not undermined.

In the meanwhile, you can submit Life+50 material through DP-EU or, as 
some are doing, amass it till we do launch.


Michael Lockey (Vasa)
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