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I hope a translator role is present in the next version of the ojs. Anyhow since a translation plugin is going to be implemented in ojs 2.2, I think having a user role as translator may be helpful considering the following points:
1. Usually translation is performed by a hired person (in the field of language). If the site admin does not have enough skill in translation (which may be a common situation when translation is required), how can he / she translates online. Should the site admin give a certain translator the admin user and pass (security!, restriction to local translator) or should he / she be a delivery only person (entering the translation, performed by the translator) which may be an unneccessary workload.
2. For some installations it may be required that the translation be performed as a team work, with each translator having some files to translate. This is more easily performed if we have translator roles with assigned translations for each. This way selection of traslators, sending request to them, agree to translate by the traslators and complete the translation for each locale file which is to be translated may be incorporated into the system.
3. After online submission of a translation (by translator), site admin can view, modify and validate the work, and if approved publish it (make it active).
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The approach that we're using for the moment is to require that the translator have access to a Site Administrator role. The reason for this is that this user will be able to write files directly to the filesystem and that privilege is typically beyond those available to lower roles. I'd suggest creating an installation specifically for the translation tasks, as working with the translator plugin on a production system is not recommended -- for our release process, we'll likely be installing a CVS checkout on our own system specifically for translators to use.
The translator plugin requires that locale files be writable by the web server user, which is not an especially secure setup; unfortunately, that's the nature of the beast.
However, I'll keep your suggestion in mind and perhaps we'll re-assess in the future (within the limits of what's possible, given the above caveat). We will eventually be adding better support for extensible roles as well.
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